Mixed reactions after proposed budget

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- With pensions being the prime focus of Gov. Matt Bevin’s budget, some in higher education and different cabinets are left to deal with spending cuts.

For one, the University of Kentucky could lose hundreds of millions of dollars in state money if Bevin’s budget is approved. In a statement from university president Eli Capilouto, the state’s flagship university leader says, “I assure you that we will not allow changes in state support to stall the momentum you have created for our students, our patients, and our state. Guided by our Strategic Plan and collective commitment, we will continue to move forward aggressively to achieve our goals: providing the best education for our students, conducting research and care that meets the needs of our state, and extending service that changes lives and transforms communities.”

In an email to the “campus community” Capilouto laid out the expected losses.

First, the Governor announced plans to implement through an executive order a mid-year reduction in budgets for most areas of state government, including universities. Between now and June 30 of this year, our current state appropriation will be reduced by $12.6 million (4.5 percent). I have instructed Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Eric N. Monday and Provost Tim Tracy to begin immediately working with their teams on how to address this reduction. As always, we will proceed thoughtfully and with wide consultation with campus stakeholders to protect our core teaching, research, and service missions.

Second, in the first year of the new two-year budget cycle starting July 1, the Governor’s budget proposes a cut of $25.2 million to our state appropriation. To put into context, this year we were scheduled to receive an appropriation from the state of $279.6 million. The budget, if enacted for next year, proposes lowering that appropriation to about $254.4 million – a 9 percent reduction. The following year, 2017-2018, our base will be reduced to $169.7 million and the remaining one-third ($84 million of the $254 million) would be placed in a pool of dollars that would be allocated across universities based on performance. As details of the method of allocation become clearer, we will keep you informed.”

Education is also on the mind of the Kentucky Arts Council. As part of the Tourism Cabinet, the organization is concerned of how spending cuts will reduce its state funding. The group said it had prepared for the worst after rumors starting spreading of a complete defunding.

Members of LexArt, a Lexington group focused on the arts in central Kentucky met Wednesday evening to talk about what they can do moving forward to ensure their financial stability. They say that’s where a new social media initiative was birthed.

You can follow the group on Facebook, Twitter and on its website, http://www.growkyarts.org/.

Categories: Local News, News

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