Murray State University President Tim Miller says the Kentucky Senate’s budget proposal that passed Monday has downsides for the university as does the state House’s proposal.
The Senate plan nixes the 2.5 percent operational cut Governor Steve Beshear and the House proposed, but it would stop any projects like MSU’s science complex. However, Miller says the House budget does have one advantage over the Senate’s.
“With the House we still have that budget cut but we also had help with the pension cost, and a lot of taxpayers don’t realize that portion of it,” he said. “So we’ve got a cost of $1.4 million, Murray State University does, that we didn’t have last year. But they did restore one half of that $1.4 million.”
Miller says that without that reimbursement the Senate plan could potentially have drastic effects on MSU.
“What’s going to happen probably, if it stays like the Senate side the CPE is probably going to say, ‘Your cuts have been restored so we want to limit the amount you can charge for tuition,’” Miller said. “We’ve got a pretty large deficit already and if that happens then we’re going to have to go back and make some really serious cuts.”
Miller says so far the university hasn’t had to cut people, but he emphasized with the Senate plan and a lower tuition cap that university cuts would be more serious than in the past. But Miller added neither plan is ideal and that both could hurt MSU.
The state House and Senate still must negotiate the details of the final state budget.