Sen. Caleb Rowden (photo courtesy; Tim Bommel, Missouri House Communications)

State Sen. Caleb Rowden, R-Columbia, says the governor is throwing Missouri’s colleges and universities under the bus by reducing their budget for the second straight year. In fellow Republican Governor Eric Greitens’ proposed state budget plan that begins in July, he wants to reduce funding to higher education by $70 million compared to the current budget.

Rowden tells Columbia radio station KSSZ the budget cuts are “lazy and shortsighted”. He does not think the Missouri Legislature will go along with the budget slashes.

“What’s lazy about it is that we just, I think for the past two years, the governor has used higher education as his way out instead of doing the hard work or really digging in and finding ways to save money in other areas of the budget,” he says.

Rowden says one reason Amazon did not pick Missouri as a finalist for its second headquarters was because of a less-educated workforce.

“So the only way you fix that, is to make sure that we are investing in the things that provide the workforce,” says Rowden. “I think we have some work to do.”

Rowden says university leaders would agree with flat funding. He says lawmakers can find minor savings from various places to make up the budget gap.

By Brad Tregnago of Missourinet radio affiliate KSSZ in Columbia