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Archive for Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Statehouse Live: More higher education cuts expected, regents say

November 18, 2009, 2:56 p.m. Updated November 18, 2009, 2:56 p.m.

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— The Kansas Board of Regents on Wednesday retreated from its request for a funding increase, said it would not appeal a flat budget recommendation, but indicated it expected further and significant cuts.

The action came after Gov. Mark Parkinson’s budget director, Duane Goossen, delivered more bad revenue news to the regents.

Goossen said Parkinson will cut $260 million from the state budget next week to keep the current fiscal year budget in balance when the Legislature returns in January.

“Those are going to be some really tough, hard cuts,” Goossen said.

Goossen said the state’s economy continues to struggle and may not show signs of recovering until late next year, and even then the state budget will suffer when federal stimulus funds start decreasing.

Higher education has already been cut this year by $100 million, or 12 percent.

In September, the regents requested a $17 million budget increase for the next fiscal year to start making up for the cuts.

But with the budget struggles continuing, the state Division of Budget recommended flat funding in the next fiscal year. But even that may be wishful thinking, some regents said.

More cuts are on the way, they said, because of the continuing revenue problems.

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