Business and school leaders rally against proposed budget cuts

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – College and university presidents in Kentucky went to Frankfort with a message to lawmakers and the Governor. They say the proposed budget cuts would hurt higher education in the state.

The school presidents call the proposed cuts devastating.

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Business leaders who are concerned about the future of Kentucky’s workforce rallied at the capitol against the proposed cuts.

Governor Matt Bevin says the Commonwealth is in a financial crisis and someone has to pay. He wants to cut state funding to colleges and universities by four and a half percent for the rest of this fiscal year, which ends June 30th, and nine percent over the following two years.

The president of Kentucky’s community and technical college system says he would have to raise tuition more than 8 percent if the legislature approves Republican Gov. Matt Bevin’s budget cuts.

The Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education must approve all tuition increases. President Jay Box told House lawmakers Thursday that if he can’t raise tuition, the system’s 16 colleges would have to lay off 539 workers and eliminate 61 instructional programs.

Box is one of a number of college and university presidents who have criticized Bevin’s cuts.