Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Legislative college, university tour scheduled for next month

By SCOTT ROTHSCHILD, The Lawrence Journal-World

TOPEKA, KAN. — Legislators cut funding to higher education during the 2013 legislative session, and will visit schools next month in preparation for the 2014 session, which starts in January.

Members of the House and Senate budget-writing committees will tour the state's public universities, a community college and a technology school. Legislative leaders have also been invited to go on the trip.

Kansas University Medical Center and Kansas University will be the last stop, on Oct. 30. Committee members will visit KUMC that morning and KU-Lawrence in the afternoon.

During the last session, Republican legislative leaders passed a 3 percent budget cut to universities over two years, and sidelined KUMC's No. 1 priority of building a new medical education building.

Gov. Sam Brownback signed the cuts into law.

Under the budget bill, KUMC will lose $8.3 million over two years, and the Lawrence campus, $5.3 million.

Brownback has said he will recommend restoring those cuts, but legislative leaders have voiced skepticism of higher education funding requests.

Here is the schedule of the visits:

Tue. Oct. 22

8:30 a.m. — Washburn Institute of Technology in Topeka

Noon — Emporia State University

Wed. Oct. 23

8:30 a.m. — Wichita State University

Thurs. Oct 24

8:30 a.m. — Pittsburg State University

2 p.m. — Fort Scott Community College

Mon. Oct. 28

11:30 a.m. — Fort Hays State University

6 p.m. — Kansas State University, Salina campus

Tue. Oct. 29

10:30 a.m. — Kansas State University

Wed. Oct. 30

8:30 a.m. — Kansas University Medical Center

2:30 p.m. — Kansas University — Lawrence