Missouri State Budget
3:24 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

Nixon withdraws Higher Ed. funding proposal

Updated 3:24 p.m.

A proposal has been scrapped by Governor Jay Nixon (D) to borrow money from Missouri’s state universities to help balance the state’s budget.

The idea was floated last month, in which $106 million in reserve funds from five of Missouri’s largest universities would be used to shore up the Department of Higher Education’s budget for the next fiscal year, which begins in July.  That sparked an outcry from both university officials and lawmakers.

“Unlike Washington, we won’t balance our budget by borrowing from the taxpayers, and unlike our governor we will not balance our budget by asking our state colleges and universities for a bailout," House Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) told lawmakers Wednesday.

Nixon told reporters this morning that the proposal is now “off the table."

“We’ve got a (budget) gap," Nixon said.  "We have and will continue to look for methods in which we can put as many dollars as possible in the classroom, both in K-12 as well as higher education.”

Nixon also says if any cuts need to be made to the Higher Education budget that he’ll focus on “administrative areas.”