Governor Eric Greitens’ $146 million in budget restrictions announced Monday include $80 million in higher education. The budget withholdings could affect tuition at Missouri’s colleges and universities. House Minority Leader Gail McCann Beatty (D-Kansas City) hopes the pain won’t reach that far.
“I haven’t had a chance to talk to anyone at the universities, but that’s very much possible, which is then putting yet another burden on our students that are already struggling to get through school,” says Beatty.
About $56 million in Greitens’ budget withholds are in core funding for Missouri’s two-year and four-year colleges and universities. Other funding cuts targeted included the A+ Schools Program and certain college programs.
In a statement from Greitens, he says Missouri’s budget is suffering from reduced revenue due to poor economic growth. He says that revenue is being drained by special interest tax credits and the faster-than-projected growth in healthcare expenditures, driven in part by the national impact of Obamacare.
Greitens says during the next 18 months, more than $700 million in budget cuts will be necessary just to make the budget balance and retain Missouri’s AAA credit rating.
“The fact is, that more hard choices lie ahead. But as Missourians, I believe we must come together, tighten our belts, be smart and wise with our tax dollars, and work our way out of this hole by bringing more jobs with higher pay to the people of Missouri,” says Greitens.
Additional details on the spending restrictions are linked here.
Governor Greitens will hold Tuesday his first State of the State address. The speech is traditionally when the Governor releases the state budget proposal, but Greitens plans to wait until February to unveil his budget requests.
Listen to live coverage of Governor Greitens’ State of the State address on Tuesday on Missourinet.com and ABC 17. Joey Parker of ABC 17 and Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth begin their preview at 6:45 p.m.
Continue to follow our coverage on Wednesday, as we bring you the response of legislators from around the state.