Missouri governor and lawmakers differ on how to fund colleges

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and lawmakers agree that the state’s public colleges and universities need increased funding, but they disagree on how the funding should be allocated. Gov. Nixon has allocated $120 million of the 2015 budget to the state’s institutions of higher learning. Nixon proposes that one-third of that be allocated as a “performance-based increase to the institutions' core budgets,” according to the Associated Press.

Lawmakers, however, prefer that the money be spent on building projects. They want to maximize use of 2012 law that allows the state to pay for 50 percent of building projects where the other half is paid for with private funds. The state can fund the projects so long as they are not being used for athletic purposes. This creates a situation where colleges and universities are encouraged to raise private funds to supplement the cost of renovations and new construction on campus.

All four of the University of Missouri campuses have submitted applications to make use of the program. Gov. Nixon did not include any money for the projects in his budget.

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