Archive for Saturday, June 8, 2013

Brownback weighs decision on higher ed cuts

June 8, 2013


— Gov. Sam Brownback said Friday that he’s reviewing “all options” for lessening cuts in higher education spending approved by Kansas legislators, but his choices appear to be limited.

Brownback acknowledged that he is not sure that he can use the governor’s power to veto individual line-items in budget legislation to eliminate just the reductions in state funding from lawmakers for public universities, community colleges and technical colleges. Brownback had wanted to maintain current funding for each of the next two fiscal years, starting in July.

A bill containing a budget of more than $14 billion for each of the next two fiscal years was delivered to the governor Thursday by legislators, and Brownback has until June 16 to decide whether to sign it, veto the entire measure or veto individual items.

“We’re going to be looking at what all options are (available),” Brownback said. “That’s what we’re analyzing, what’s available for line item vetoes and what impact that has, if there is a line item veto.”

Legislators approved a 1.5 percent cut in state operating funds for the universities for each of the next two fiscal years, as well as a 1.5 percent reduction in funding for community and technical colleges for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2014.

But state Board of Regents members have said the cuts are deeper than they appear because lawmakers also reduced the state funds available for salaries. They said the higher education system is losing a total of nearly $33 million in state funds over the next two fiscal years.

But the Legislature’s nonpartisan research staff said Friday that the budget is written so that the reductions aren’t separated from other spending for each university or for the Board of Regents.

That means if Brownback wants to eliminate the cuts, he’ll have to veto an institution’s full state funding — forcing legislators to pass additional budget legislation when their only remaining business scheduled is a brief, formal adjournment ceremony June 20. Another option would be to ask lawmakers next year to pass a supplemental funding bill, though they’ve not done that for several years.

Brownback said he and his staff haven’t yet had a chance to fully review the 553-page budget measure.

“We’re really looking at it on a line-by-line basis,” he said. “We’re going to do everything we can, looking at the budget.”


Thinking_Out_Loud 5 years ago

Sadly for the governor, there is no "good" choice available to him. I am not confident that this legislature would do anything if the governor vetoed the entire budget for the Regents institutions. I can readily envision a scenario in which these legislators would shrug their shoulders, both fail to override the veto and refuse to pass new budget legislation, and allow the universities, technical schools, and community colleges to be shuttered for the next year.

Then some of them may try to run on their record of reducing government spending and holding state government accountable to live within its means.

I should be less cynical. Today, however, I am not less cynical.

jayhawklawrence 5 years ago

Exactly. They know that Kansas elected Sebelius because of education.

question4u 5 years ago

"Brownback had wanted to maintain current funding for each of the next two fiscal years, starting in July."

Not exactly. The correct sentence should be: Brownback had SAID that he wanted to maintain current funding for each of the next two fiscal years, starting in July.

As soon as he announced that he would be touring universities to advocate against cuts instead of talking to the Legislature the outcome was clear: PR for Brownback and cuts for universities.

wastewatcher 5 years ago

Regents are using magic math by claiming that salary increases that have not granted or paid results in a cut of state funding. But they like the leaders of the schools continue to whine and raise tuition instead of living within their means as the rest of us do. Also notice that KU athletics budget is increasing by 7 plus percent. And we all know that thet get a lot of their expenses paid for by the school. It is time for a complete review of each schools spending, not only for "legal" issues but also for priorities and prudence in these difficult times.

ResQd 5 years ago

Welcome to the "real" world!

Kontum1972 5 years ago

what kind of name is last name is Brownback?

sounds more like a horse breed or insect breed.....e.g. brownback beetle.


Thinking_Out_Loud 5 years ago

Really, Kontum1972? Can you find nothing to criticize the governor for in terms of policy direction or administration, so you have to resort to making fun of his name? That is not a constructive contribution to any discussion.

del888 5 years ago

You can contact to governor at: Office of the Governor

Capitol, 300 SW 10th Ave., Ste. 241S Toll Free: 877-KSWORKS (877-579-6757) Topeka, KS 66612-1590 Local: 785-296-3232 For the Hearing Impaired: 800-766-3777

Trumbull 5 years ago

Public Universities and colleges are very visible and it is what many think of when they think of good qualities a particular state has. They often stand right up front. They add to the quality of life and future. To neglect them and undercut funding is shortsighted to say the least. These institutions and there benefits make us proud.

verity 5 years ago

I'm torn. Brownback certainly looks stupid---nobody home behind those eyes, but his actions would say he knows exactly what he's doing. I suspect there's a handler whispering in his ear at all times. A ventriloquist comes to mind.

Or maybe he's smarter than he seems. No, I'm going with the handler.

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