Kentucky Colleges Seek More Funding in Tight Budget Year

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky’s public colleges and universities want more money, but Republican lawmakers say the best they can hope for is to break even.

The Council on Postsecondary Education approved its two-year budget request on Friday, asking for an extra $160 million in state funding for Kentucky’s eight public universities and its network of community and technical colleges. About 35 percent of that is operating money.

But Republican Gov. Matt Bevin has already warned state agencies to prepare for spending cuts.

State Budget Director John Chilton told lawmakers Thursday they would need to find up to an additional $1 billion out of a nearly $12 billion budget to keep the state’s woefully underfunded pension system afloat.

Senate budget chairman Chris McDaniel said the best case scenario would be keeping college spending flat.