Topeka Gov. Kathleen Sebelius on Monday vetoed restrictive budget provisions on higher education, an action she said will allow the Kansas Board of Regents to freeze tuition for one year.
“Now is not the time to make college less affordable,” Sebelius said.
The Kansas Legislature had approved a $13 billion state spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1 that would have required federal stimulus dollars going to the regents schools be used solely for deferred maintenance projects.
Sebelius vetoed those restrictions. Unless overridden by two-thirds majorities in the House and Senate, the vetoes will allow the regents to use the approximately $40 million as they had wanted for both deferred maintenance and to mitigate tuition costs.
Regents Chairwoman Donna Shank of Liberal said, “This flexibility means that a tuition freeze is still possible for the next academic year, pending the Legislature’s ultimate fiscal year 2010 appropriation for higher education of course.”
Lawmakers return for a wrap-up session on April 29.
An updated revenue estimate is scheduled to be made Friday, and most budget experts say the state’s falling tax receipts could force lawmakers to make further budget adjustments in the wrap-up session.