Fitzpatrick plans to make restorations to proposed cuts for higher education

   

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Public colleges and universities’ state funding may not be cut as much as proposed by the governor, according to the House budget chairman.

When Gov. Eric Greitens outlined his budget proposal for FY 2019, it called for roughly $68 million less in state funding to higher education than expected.  

“The cuts proposed to higher education would be extremely difficult not only for our institutions of higher learning,” said House Budget Chairman Rep. Scott Fitzpatrick, “but also for families and students across the state who would likely see higher tuition rates as a result.”

Fitzpatrick said he intends to restore some of that funding by using excess funds the House Budget Committee has identified. The additional funds are a result of conservative budgeting practices by the House Budget Committee last year.

Given the recent uncertainty of the Children’s Health Insurance Program at the federal level, the Budget Committee opted to protect Missouri’s at-risk children without relying on federal funds. Now that funding for the program has been extended through FY 2023, the additional funding gives lawmakers the budget flexibility necessary to make significant restorations to funding for the state’s colleges and universities.

“I said from the start that the House would work to find the funds to prevent as much of these cuts as possible,” Fitzpatrick said. “We now have a solution that will help ease the burden on Missouri students and their families.”

Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at alisha@themissouritimes.com.