Missouri Governor Calls For More Education Cuts
Missouri Governor Eric Greitens Monday announced a budget plan that would slice at least $68 million from public colleges and universities.
Greitens pitched this new round of cuts while outlining his roughly $28.8 billion budget recommendation for the fiscal year that begins in July.
The Republican governor is also asking for about $48 million less than what’s called for under state law to full fund K-12 public schools.
His 2019 budget plan would give colleges and universities $92 million less than originally budgeted for the 2018 fiscal year and $68 million less than they actually are expected to get based on cuts Greitens previously made to the 2018 budget.
Greitens said increased spending on health care “means we have to tighten up in other areas of government and spend less money.” He cited growth in “administrative costs” at many universities while recommending a 10 percent reduction compared to the amount that higher education institutions originally were budgeted to get during the current year.
“We’re watching out for the tax dollars of the people of Missouri, making important investments in Missouri’s future and also making the tough choices that are necessary to make sure that we don’t burden Missouri’s children with debt,” Greitens said.
But the governor faced immediate pushback from some lawmakers over the proposed cuts to higher education institutions.
“We cannot continue to balance the budget on the backs of students; they are the future workers and job creators Missouri desperately needs to cultivate,” Columbia Republican Senator Caleb Rowden said in a statement, adding he hopes to pass a budget that “better reflects Missourians’ priorities.”