Budget Director Talks Numbers

9 years 1 month 3 hours ago Thursday, January 20 2011 Jan 20, 2011 Thursday, January 20, 2011 5:24:06 AM CST January 20, 2011 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - State Budget Director Linda Luebbering hosted a budget briefing at the State Capitol Wednesday evening.  The briefing revealed that higher education will be one of the main areas affected.

The fiscal year 2012 budget is $704.4 million.  After reorganizing the budget, the numbers show that higher education will see more change through cuts and revenue generators. Four-year higher education institutions and community and technical colleges will experience a 7% reduction.  There's currently a 1.5% cap on a tuition raise.  The MU system will have to turn to the higher education system to ask for a waiver on this cap.  The Governor hasn't told schools how much they should raise the cap by yet.

Luebbering isn't thrilled about the changes.  "Certainly no one enjoys reducing spending for higher education."  Luebbering says the decisions made during the budget recommendation period were all hard.  "We've done so many reductions, we're at the point where you're seeing things you don't want to," Luebbering added.

Another significant change is job reduction.  More than 850 jobs will be cut, and as of now most of those positions are filled.  Government officials are hoping that the workers weed themselves out so by the time the positions must be cut, no one will be in these positions.  If the government follows through with the job cuts, 3,300 state positions would've been cut since Governor Nixon took office in 2009.

Luebbering claimed that revenue is expected to grow by 4%, but that's not nearly enough.  Revenue would need to grow 11% last year to avoid making cuts.

The Missouri budget and other budget-related documents can be found online at http://oa.mo.gov/bp/execbudgets.

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