Early this afternoon, the Colorado State Joint Budget Committee cut the higher education budget for next year in half.
According to The Denver Post, the JBC was considering cutting $50 million from the higher ed budget earlier this week. But, today they decided to cut $300 million Eric Kurtz, a JBC legislative analyst for higher education confirmed.
The Colorado higher education budget last year was about $600 million.
The state is looking for ways to make up for the drastic reduction in funding, including a plan to transfer $300 million from the state workman’s compensation fund.
State Rep. John Kefalas, who attended the JBC meeting, said that the state is looking to transfer that money from an entity called Pinnacle Insurance.
Due to this quick reaction by the state, some are optimistic about the situation, including CSU Interim President Tony Frank.
“Despite today’s situation, I’m still optimistic,” Frank said in an e-mail sent to the CSU community this evening.
“There are also discussions about sources of funds that may backfill significant portions of these reductions,” he said.
Frank is also confident in CSU’s legislative support at the capitol.
“We have friends and supporters within our state government … and the Department of Higher Education has addressed these cuts as ‘unacceptable.'”
Frank said that budget numbers flucuate constantly this time of year and that “Colorado’s higher-education system budget is far from finalized.”
See Thursday’s Collegian and Collegian.com for more updates.