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Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Regents report says repairs would help state economy

March 23, 2007

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— Fixing infrastructure problems at state universities would be good for the economy, higher education officials said Thursday.

The Kansas Board of Regents released a report that said addressing deferred maintenance at the six public universities would produce a $2 billion financial boost to the state by injecting money into the economy that would be spent several times over and creating nearly 14,000 jobs.

"As state policymakers continue to focus on ways to improve the state's economy, they need not look any farther than our crumbling state universities," said Reggie Robinson, president and chief executive officer of the regents.

The report, conducted by the Docking Institute of Public Affairs at Fort Hays State University, comes amid a heated debate in the Legislature on how to pay for hundreds of millions of dollars worth of repair projects.

The regents initially said there were $727 million in needed repairs. If funded, that would result in a $1.6 billion increase in economic output of goods and services, $468.5 million in increased earnings and 13,964 jobs, the report said.

The regents have since reduced the deferred maintenance list to $663 million of critical needs and said a $100 million per year increase in maintenance funding would allow schools to get a handle on the major repairs.

So far lawmakers have been unable to find a way to raise funding for the repairs.

They have floated many proposals, including increasing tuition, turnpike tolls, taxes and ticket prices, but none has been warmly embraced.

But contractors praised the new report, saying taking care of the deferred maintenance problem would improve higher education and the state's fiscal picture.

"University maintenance funding would create thousands of good-paying jobs that would benefit Kansas workers and the Kansas economy," said Corey Peterson, executive vice president of the Associated General Contractors of Kansas.

If all projects on the $663 million repair list were done, the report said that would increase gross state product by $1.5 billion and earnings by $427.3 million and add 12,736 jobs.

Every $1 million spent on state university deferred maintenance projects would raise the gross state product by $2.2 million and earnings by $644,500 and add 19 jobs, according to the report.

The study cost $4,500 and was split evenly between the regents and regents institutions.

Comments

oldgoof 7 years ago

BigDog writes: "The legislature may not have fully funded maintenance needs, but universities have admitted that money goven to them by the legislature for maintenance was used for other purposes." .. I must have missed that one Dog, where was such an admission made? A: It wasn't.

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MyName 7 years ago

c'mon, even if you were right and they robbed Peter to pay Paul, WTH were they robbing Peter in the first place? It's because the State of Kansas has been cutting the funding in terms of real dollars every year for a decade or so. And the whole reason why we have state sponsored education is because the entire State benefits if we have smart people instead of stupid people, both in terms of economic and public good. Not only that, but what about all of the research that we get in nearly every area, from Agriculture to Medicine?

Why should the students by the one paying the tab, when industry is the one who is getting the benefits of all of this research and development?

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BigDog 7 years ago

moderationman - Do you not understand that it wasn't the Universities putting off needed maintenance, it was the legislature deciding that they were going to fund the maintenance at less than 25% of the projected costs that put us in the hole? Don't blame the admins at the 6 regents' schools, blame legislators whose allegiance to no new tax pledges have outweighed their allegiance to the oath of office they took.


Not exactly true. The legislature may not have fully funded maintenance needs, but universities have admitted that money goven to them by the legislature for maintenance was used for other purposes.

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Kat Christian 7 years ago

Who thinks of this crap and who really believes it. Repairs good for the economy who's economy the upper crust and their pocketbooks, because it sure won't make the working class any richer.

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Godot 7 years ago

This reminds me of the "military-industrial complex" conspiracy of the 60's and 70's, only now we would call it the "academic-construction complex."

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justthefacts 7 years ago

Again - stop spending money on studies to pick out a new font for KU letters, on pretty flowers/trees to enhance the landscape, and other such silly non-necessities. THEN the tax payers will not be so upset (and telling the Legislators about it).

I don't think most people want the buildings to fall down around the student's ears. They are just sick and tired of school administrators (and yes Regent board members AND Legislators) making LOTS more money then most citizens, and yet spending citizen's tax dollars so unwisely!

At least that's my opinion and view point.

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SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years ago

Again, the repairs should be paid for with tuition dollars, not tax dollars.

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Bruce Bertsch 7 years ago

Do you not understand that it wasn't the Universities putting off needed maintenance, it was the legislature deciding that they were going to fund the maintenance at less than 25% of the projected costs that put us in the hole? Don't blame the admins at the 6 regents' schools, blame legislators whose allegiance to no new tax pledges have outweighed their allegiance to the oath of office they took.

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KS 7 years ago

Let's see now. The Universities deferred the repairs so that they could be credited with creating all these jobs and boosting the Kansas economy! All of them should be fired for ignoring their fudiciary responsibilities and costing the taxpayers more money. The Regents too. Doesn't anyone remember their Grandmother telling them that a stitch in time saves nine? That's my story.

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