Kentucky’s higher education community has made its first official request for funding during the current general assembly session. Administrators with the Council on Postsecondary Education, which represents Kentucky’s public universities, appeared before a House Budget Review Subcommittee.
Governor Andy Beshear, in his State of the Commonwealth Address last week, said cuts to higher education were over. The Council on Postsecondary Education request calls for a 15% increase in funding over the next two years.
Northern Kentucky Representative Ed Massey admits more money is a goal, but difficult to achieve. “How do we balance that against the other commitments we have like Medicaid, dealing with our court system, our prison population, all of those kinds of things. So, until we get all those figures together in front of us, it’s going to be very difficult to commit to whether we can do that, but I certain think we should strive to do that,” explained Massey.
CPE President Aaron Thompson said the reinvestment in higher ed makes a societal impact in many ways. He noted that includes cost savings through fewer people incarcerated and less reliance on Medicaid. State universities have faced repeated cuts in state funding over the last decade.
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