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House Committee Votes To Reduce Higher Ed Funding

A Kansas House committee has voted to eliminate around $30 million from the state's colleges and universities. That amounts to a 4 percent across-the-board funding cut for fiscal year 2014.

The top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, Jerry Henry from Atchison, said the cut would hurt job growth in Kansas and cause tuition increases.

“There is a lot of pain with this cut, and I think we have other options that would be available to us other than doing this, because I believe this will definitely start us down the track of reducing the ability for some of our seniors from high school being able to access college,” Henry said.

Republican Ward Cassidy, from St. Francis, suggested the reduction. Monday, the committee had voted to cut around $15 million dollars from the Board of Regents budget. Cassidy said Tuesday that his proposal, while putting a larger reduction in place, will spread out the cuts more fairly. He said lawmakers may be able to restore funding later in the budget process.