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Governor Cuts Higher Ed After Revenue Shortfall

Associated Press - March 1, 2016 4:19 pm

Three Kansas lawmakers say Gov. Sam Brownback told a small group of legislators it would be politically better for him if they overrode his veto and repealed tax cuts rather than proposing another tax plan for him to sign.

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) – Republican Gov. Sam Brownback has cut higher education spending by $17 million in response to a shortfall in tax collections for February.

Brownback announced Tuesday that he ordered a 3 percent cut in the higher education system’s allocation of state tax dollars under this fiscal year’s budget. The Board of Regents and state universities will have to make the adjustments over the next four months.

The governor acted after the Department of Revenue reported that the state collected $54 million less in taxes than anticipated in February.

The state must now act to prevent a deficit on June 30. Brownback’s action would not fully balance the budget.

The department said the state collected $303 million in taxes last month instead of the $357 million projected in a November fiscal forecast.

Larry Elmquist

March 1, 2016 at 5:29 pm

Rather than continuing to squeeze and weaken all higher education programs in Kansas, let’s bite the bullet and close a couple. One may be enough, but if Brownback continues to bumble his way through life, I think two universities might be best.

Greg Stephens

March 1, 2016 at 5:41 pm

Cutting education says something about our values and support for our Kansas economy.

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