House committee to consider Nixon's higher education budget

Monday, February 21, 2011 | 4:19 p.m. CST; updated 7:41 p.m. CST, Monday, February 21, 2011

JEFFERSON CITY — A House committee is expected to endorse the governor's proposed higher education budget cuts later this week.

Gov. Jay Nixon's 2012 proposed budget calls for a 7 percent reduction in state higher education funding. The House Education Appropriations Committee will meet Tuesday to mark up the budget. The committee chairman, Rep. Mike Lair, R-Chillicothe, said he expects the slashed budget will pass unamended through the committee.

"As of right now, it is going to be a 7 percent cut," Lair said.

One Democrat on the committee said there is a way to avoid the funding reduction.

"There are other things to do beside cut," said Rep. Mary Still, D-Columbia.

Still said a cigarette tax would be one way to increase the state's revenue.

Lair warned that nothing is certain until the markup session ends on Tuesday.

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