Archive for Thursday, July 2, 2009

Gov. Parkinson cuts public schools and higher education funding by 2 percent

July 2, 2009

TOPEKA — Public schools and higher education were cut 2 percent by Gov. Mark Parkinson on Thursday as part of a $160 million budget-reduction plan.

“My plan is a responsible reaction to the current struggles we face,” Parkinson said at a news conference.

He said his cuts will spare social services and public safety.

But that left essentially a 2 percent cut to most of the rest of state finances. The cut in general state aid to schools will total $39.1 million, while higher education will take a $15.3 million hit. Both areas have already been cut during the past year.

And Parkinson said he will seek approval from legislative leaders on Monday to issue $700 million in certificates of indebtedness, basically using state government reserve funds to pay for tax refunds and school payments that have been held up in recent days.

In addition, Parkinson said if state revenues don’t recover over the next year, a tax increase may be needed.

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