Bevin calls for cuts to higher education funding

By on January 26, 2016
The Louisville Cardinal News

Updated – Jan. 28 at 1 p.m.

By Olivia Krauth–

Using an executive order, Governor Matt Bevin will slice $6.3 million from U of L’s budget immediately. Another $12.6 million may get cut in July.

The cuts come from Bevin’s proposed budget, which he presented Tuesday night in his State of the Commonwealth address.

He presented his budget for fiscal years 2017 and 2018. If passed, the budget would apply a nine percent funding cut to most state programs, including higher education. Those programs will also see a 4.5 percent cut immediately with an executive order.

“We’ve got to get our financial foundation solid. We just do. We don’t have any alternative,” Bevin said.

For fiscal year 2017, programs will get nine percent less of their current state appropriation – a $12.6 million cut for U of L. Fiscal year 2018 will see the same amount of funding as FY 2017 without additional cuts.

President James Ramsey released a statement on the budget Wednesday, saying he was “disappointed.”

“We are disappointed we will take continued cuts in the next biennium as well as a current year cut (over the next 30 months),” Ramsey said.  The challenges we face in continuing to move forward to meet our statutory mandate, given sixteen budget cuts over seventeen years, have and will take a toll on our ability to move forward.”

Money saved by the cuts will go to state public pension plans, increasing their budgets by more than $800 million in the next two years.

The Democratic-led state House will vote on it first, followed by the Republican-led Senate if passed.

President James Ramsey was unavailable for statement immediately after the budget announcement.

U of L was set to receive $140 million in state funds the current fiscal year. State appropriation is currently the fifth-highest source of funding for U of L. Since FY 2002, state funding has been cut by 5.2 percent.

The proposed budget cuts do not affect student financial aid. The proposed budget dedicates all lottery proceeds to education, including KEES funding, need-based aid and tuition coverage for the Kentucky National Guard.

State funding for higher education has been cut every year since 2008. U of L has faced 14 budget cuts since 2002. The cuts have led to universities raising tuition, which a current state bill is trying to stop with a tuition freeze.

 

About Olivia Krauth

Copy Editor at The Louisville Cardinal.

One Comment

  1. Daniel Sherrill

    January 26, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    If you want to see the roadmap of what Bevin has in store for Kentucky, just look at Kansas and the problems they’ve been having.

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