The budget Governor Mitch Daniels proposed earlier this week includes a four percent cut for higher education.
Bloomington Representative Peggy Welch says higher education officials at Indiana University, Purdue and other state colleges are concerned about the direction of the governor’s cuts.
“The governor proposes, the legislature disposes. And with that wonderful balance of power we provide in the Constitution provides, in these troubled economic times, I’m not sure this is the environment in which we should be cutting any contributions that we’re making to higher education,” Welch said.
“They should at least be flat lined. And that was in the budget we proposed in the House version of the budget.”
Calling the Governor’s proposal a “jumping off point,” Welch says she and others will work on changing the funding formula for higher education so state colleges can receive more money.
The Governor’s budget calls for dipping into the state’s rainy day fund, a move he adamantly opposed until his budget proposal earlier this week. Welch says House Democrats proposed the same idea in December.
She says she’s also happy Daniels included federal stimulus dollars in the budget.
“Cause that’s exactly what we were saying that we should do. That we’re going to have to use some of these stimulus dollars to help back fill some of these holes that because of decreased dollars being taken in by the state,” Welch said. ”
So I’m very appreciative to the governor to coming around to understanding why we were making these proposals from the beginning.”
The special session is slated to begin June 11th with a June 30th deadline for passage of a budget.