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Archive for Tuesday, February 25, 2014

House budget committee not done with higher education budget

February 25, 2014

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— House Appropriations Committee Chairman Marc Rhoades, R-Newton, said Tuesday that his committee would continue to work on the higher education budget even though it approved the spending plan one day earlier.

"A lot of committee members didn't have any details," Rhoades said. "I think everybody felt a little overwhelmed by the data."

On Monday, the committee by voice vote recommended an increased higher education budget that mostly followed the recommendation of Gov. Sam Brownback.

The proposal would restore some funding that was cut from universities last year by Brownback and Republican legislative leaders and would advance several initiatives at Kansas University.

But during discussion of the budget report, Rhoades and several other Republicans complained about higher education spending and recent tuition increases.

When tuition increases were adopted last year, the Kansas Board of Regents said a portion of the tuition increases were needed to offset cuts by the Legislature. KU alone was cut by $13.5 million.

But Rhoades argued that the regents have approved tuition increases even when the Legislature has increased state funding to higher education.

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