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Archive for Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Action on deferred maintenance likely to be postponed

April 3, 2007

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— Deferred maintenance at Kansas Board of Regents universities likely will be deferred again.

Legislative leaders Monday remained at odds over how to address $663 million worth of repairs at Kansas University and the five other regents schools.

That means lawmakers may take up the issue again when the Legislature comes back April 25 for a scheduled three-day wrap-up session, sometimes called the omnibus session.

"I'm hoping that between now and omnibus, hopefully we'll have a pretty good deferred maintenance package put together," said Sen. Dwayne Umbarger, R-Thayer, and chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

Legislative leaders said they hoped to adjourn the session today before taking a three-week break.

Key lawmakers started the session in January touting "crumbling classrooms" as one of the top priorities of the 2007 session.

But finding politically palpable ways of paying for the immense expense has proven tough.

Proposals to increase taxes, turnpike tolls and tuition all have been floated and shot down.

Last week's passage of legislation to expand gambling and dedicate some of the profits to infrastructure improvements was seen as a way by higher education officials to help pay for the repairs.

But state Rep. Sharon Schwartz, R-Washington, chair of the House Appropriations Committee, said the regents' support of the gambling bill may have taken the heat off the Legislature.

"If the regents think gaming is adequate," then perhaps no more needs to be done on deferred maintenance, she said.

But Umbarger said he didn't believe additional gambling revenue would address "all their concerns."

Comments

Sigmund 7 years, 8 months ago

Action on deferred maintenance likely to be deferred.

BrianR 7 years, 8 months ago

Maintenance deferred is maintenence denied.

shockchalk 7 years, 8 months ago

Great! Let's put off a solution until we can find a better way. Oh, wait a minute, do you suppose that kind of thinking is what got us into this situation in the first place? Too bad it's not the state capital building, THEN, the legislature would do something.

Wilbur_Nether 7 years, 8 months ago

4th_grade_education suggested "The solution is simple: raise tuition."

Sadly, that solution is simplistic. This legislature, like dozens before it, is ducking its responsibilities to ensure that Kansas's resources are cared for and maintained--resources such as Universities, Community Colleges and Vocational Schools, State Office Buildings, State Historic Sites, the State Capitol, its infrastructure....

I'll offer one better, 4th_grade_education, and this one is even more simplistic: I am frustrated enough with the Legislature on the issue of higher education that I am willing for it to eliminate all State funding for it whatsoever. In return, place the Universitys, Colleges, and Schools into trusts.

If the Legislature can't take care of its nice things, it shouldn't be allowed to have any. (OK, using the "nice things" criteria, it would have to give up the Capital building and keep Wescoe.)

commuter 7 years, 8 months ago

Maybe we should hold the admin responsible for not being good stewards of the property if we have that much deferred maint. If I was the legislature, I would want a detailed plan including costs and timeframes to fix the defreed maint. and to maintain the buildings before more money is allocated.

Wilbur_Nether 7 years, 8 months ago

Nonsense, commuter. This is a chronic situation that spans multiple Legislatures and Governors. For example: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/1990/mar...

"After reviewing Hayden's budget, regents compiled a list of appeals that totaled $36 million. The Ways and Means Committee granted about one-fourth of the appeals.

The committee decided the state can afford to fund almost half of the $20 million in appeals related to the state university system's base, or maintenance, budget."

The issues are less about mismanagement than underfunding. It's a systemic problem; many State buildings are left in disrepair. http://blogs.cjonline.com/index.php?entry=2507

not_dolph 7 years, 8 months ago

I smell a Saturday column in the offing....

BigDog 7 years, 8 months ago

Posted by shockchalk (anonymous) on April 3, 2007 at 8:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Great! Let's put off a solution until we can find a better way. Oh, wait a minute, do you suppose that kind of thinking is what got us into this situation in the first place? Too bad it's not the state capital building, THEN, the legislature would do something.


shockchalk - The state capitol renovations are the first major renovations to most areas of the capitol since it was built.

shockchalk 7 years, 8 months ago

And that makes a difference how?????? It doesn't matter to me if they are major or minor. The point is, the buildings belong to the State and if a legislators office had a steam leak, or an unsafe electrical problem, you can bet they would find a way to fund it.

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