Archive for Friday, November 6, 2009

Regents Chairwoman asks legislators to put away the budget knife

November 6, 2009


— Kansas Board of Regents Chair Jill Docking on Friday urged Gov. Mark Parkinson and lawmakers to avoid cutting higher education as the state grapples with a $460 million budget shortfall.

“Additional cuts will produce severe consequences, and there’s no doubt that qualified Kansans will be denied access to programs that are vitally important to the future health of the state’s economy,” Docking said in a prepared statement.

Falling tax collections prompted state budget experts on Thursday to revise downward the revenue estimate for the current fiscal year.

Parkinson has vowed to balance the budget “within our existing means” by the time the legislative session starts in January, but he hasn’t said how.

“These deficit numbers are challenging, but they are manageable,” Parkinson said.

Docking said the regents appreciated the difficult decisions facing state policymakers, but noted that the higher education system has already been cut $100 million, or 12 percent, this year.

Further cuts could jeopardize federal stimulus funding, which requires states to maintain minimum funding levels, she said.

In September, the regents requested a $17 million budget increase for the fiscal year that starts July 1, 2010, and then $50 million for each of the two fiscal years after that.

The $17 million would help the schools cover the costs of increased health insurance and student enrollment, officials said. The proposed increases for the subsequent years would make up for recent cuts.


wastewatcher 8 years, 5 months ago

It takes real guts for the Regents to complain about money when they are spending about a million dollars to pay three retired presidents to stay away from campus. Who are they fooling, If they have the $ to pay these fellows, they have the $ to educate Kansans.

andyk 8 years, 5 months ago

I have an idea. STOP SPENDING MONEY ON ROADS. I don't care if the money is coming from ARRA. Figure out a way to redirect it. When I think of a #$%& economy, I don't think of beautiful roads. If they do cut education more, Parkinson best not ask us to step up our performance again, ever.

BigDog 8 years, 5 months ago

andyk .... . Most of China's economic stimulus went into infrastructure (roads, bridges, solar/electric power infrastructure, etc.) and their economy is turning around because it is creating long term jobs.

The United States invested almost nothing in much needed infrastructure, choosing instead to prop up state budgets for a year, cash for clunkers, tax breaks for first home buyers, etc. Almost no new jobs are being created....... and most likely next week when the Governor announces his budget cuts there will be layoffs or furloughs soon after. All the while the unemployment rate continues to rise because we are not creating jobs in this $1 trillion spending package.

BigDog 8 years, 5 months ago

How might Ms. Docking suggest the budget shortfall be handled? K-12 education is 50% of the entire state spending, Higher Education is 16% of the entire state spending.

Combined these items make up 2/3 of the entire state budget ...... in order to not touch these items the state would have to pretty much eliminate the courts, prisons, KBI, Highway Patrol, human services, health departments, roads, etc.

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