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Archive for Saturday, March 10, 2007

Sebelius’ proposed increases for universities written back in

March 10, 2007

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— House budget writers Friday restored much of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius' proposed increases to Kansas Board of Regents universities.

The Appropriations Committee recommended approval of Sebelius' $10.1 million increase to the universities' operating grants for the fiscal year that starts July 1. In addition, the proposal includes continued support of $5 million to the Kansas University Medical Center to help achieve designation as a national cancer center.

Earlier in the session, Republicans on the committee stripped out Sebelius' proposed increases, saying they wanted to wait to see how the state's revenue picture was shaping up. Recent revenue forecasts have been on the upside.

On Friday, the committee also put in its bill a proposal approved earlier by the full House to provide $76.6 million in additional funding to address a backlog of repairs and maintenance at universities.

State Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, a member of the Appropriations Committee, said she was pleased by the actions.

"We need to get more money, but in terms of the money slowly coming back, I think we're moving in the right direction," Ballard said.

The measure goes to the full House next week.

"At this point in time, I feel the regents universities should be fairly satisfied," said state Rep. Sharon Schwartz, R-Washington, chairwoman of the committee.

In all, the state's public universities received $611.9 million this year from the state's general fund. Of that, KU's Lawrence campus received $145 million, and the medical center received $116 million.

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