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Legislature Passes Higher Ed. Budget

May 5, 2004
By: Aidian Holder
State Capital Bureau

The Missouri Legislature gave final approval to a higher education budget that gives colleges twenty million dollars more than last year.

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Republican leaders call the budget a win-win: more money for Missouri colleges and universities and no tax increases for Missouri taxpayers.

But democrats in the legislature assailed the plan as too little help after years of painful budget cuts in higher education.

Central Missouri Representative Jeff Harris is the Minority Whip.

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FILL: "Higher Education is still grossly underfunded in the state of Missouri."

The higher ed budget approporiates about eighteen million dollars less than what governor Holden had asked for.

With it's approval by the legislature, it heads next to Holden's desk.

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The Missouri Legislature gives final approval to a higher education budget with a big jump in spending.

Aidian Holder has that story from the state capitoll.

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The budget cleared the house with a comfortable majority and got unanimous approval in the senate. Republicans cheered it for giving 20 million more to higher education without resorting to the tax increases Governor Holden proposed.

But not everyone was pleased.

Columbia Democrat Jeff Harris says the budget doesn't do enough to repair the damage caused by funding cuts in recent years.

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FILL:"Just because we're up to a C instead of a D or F, doesn't mean it's enough."

The budget appropriates 862 million to higher ed for the coming fiscal year .... about 18 million less than Governor Holden asked for.

From the State Captiol, I'm Aidian Holder

The legislature gave final approval today (tuesday) to the state's higher education budget, a budget that gives Missouri Colleges and Universities twenty million dollars more to spend than last year.

Aidian (uh-dee-an) Holder reports.

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Republican's trumpet the higher ed budget for providing more money without requiring higher taxes.

But many House democrats say the plan doesn't do enough to repair the damage caused by the spending cuts of recent years.

Republican Mark Wright and Democrat Jeff Harris squared off on the house floor before the vote.

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FILL: Wright and Harris sparred over amount of funding givien to Missouri schools compared to other states' funding.

The budget calls for $862 million in state aid to higher education, about 18 million less than Governor Holden asked for.

From the State Capitol, I'm Aidian Holder