Missouri Budget cuts impact community colleges and universities

Rev Steve Heather KOLR

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Governor Mike Parson’s office is now freezing $180 million in spending

The cuts are being made to not only make up for lost revenue but to also allow the state to purchase more personal protective equipment.

The cuts will help make up for lost revenue and also allow the state to purchase more personal protective equipment.

“More people are staying home. Business operations have been limited. Many people have lost their jobs. And state revenues are down,” said Governor Parson. “When we began this year, we anticipated economic growth and we had based our budget on that growth. COVID-19 has had serious impacts on our anticipated economic growth. And now we are expecting significant revenue declines, some of which may be larger than those experienced during the great recession. “

The spending reductions include a cut in spending for higher education and workforce development. Other impacted departments include the Department of Transportation, Office of Administration and the Department of Natural Resources.

The highest hit group of those agencies is higher education.

Over 30% of the new restrictions are aimed at four-year universities which will be losing $61 million across the state. Community colleges will lose over $11 million.

Governor Parson says these cuts are quote “absolutely necessary.”

The chancellor of OTC, Doctor Hal Higdon, says he was already expecting that cut.

Higdon says OTC will lose a little over a $1 million in funding.

On the positive side, the community college will be doing a hiring freeze, but will not have lay-offs or cut out all travel and delay buying new equipment.

OTC will use reserved money to get through the rest of the year.

“We also understand that the federal money will be coming at some point, and I think there’s a very good chance that there will be an opportunity to make that money up, with the money that the governor gets from the federal government. So I’m hoping this is not a permanent cut,” said Higdon.

Four-year universities like Mizzou are now having to refund dorm room money back to parents and students because campuses have been shut down.

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