On Friday morning, Governor Brownback released his budget proposal for review and consideration by the legislature. While the legislature officially gaveled in the 2015 session on Monday, January 12th the release of the governor’s report signals the start of the discussion on the issue which will likely dominate the next 90 days – how to best address the projected revenue shortfall for FY16 & 17.
From the perspective of Pittsburg State, and higher education generally, the governor’s budget proposal is welcome news. In the proposal the Governor demonstrates his commitment to higher education investment and recognition of our vital importance to growing the Kansas economy. To this end, Governor Brownback recommends stabilized funding for higher education for the next two fiscal years. This includes continued funding of important enhancements Pittsburg State has received over the past few legislative sessions – namely, the School of Construction, Polymer Chemistry Initiative, and the Kanas Center for Career and Technical Education.
While we are very appreciative of the Governor’s commitment to higher education funding, this really is simply the start of the conversation. This week the legislature will begin in earnest unpacking and dissecting the governor’s proposal. While we have experienced incredible success and momentum over the past few years, that momentum is far from guaranteed. For that momentum to continue we need the legislature to support the governor’s budget proposal for higher education.