Bevin orders college, university budgets cut by 4.5 percent

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has ordered immediate 4.5 percent cuts in state funding to all public colleges and universities.

The order comes as state lawmakers are locked in a stalemate over a two-year state spending plan. House and Senate leaders broke off negotiations on Thursday because Senate Republicans insisted on budget cuts for higher education while Democrats refused.

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Bevin first proposed his mid-year budget cuts in January as part of a plan to cut state spending by $650 million and use the savings to begin to pay down the state’s public pension debt. The House and the Senate did not include Bevin’s 4.5 percent mid-year cuts in their budget proposals. But Bevin, citing a state law that allows him to reduce allotments for executive branch agencies, cut their budgets anyway.