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Statehouse Blend Missouri
Statehouse Blend Missouri

Missouri Rep. Randy Dunn Condemns Proposed Cuts To University System Budget

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Matt Hodapp
/
KCUR 89.3
Rep. Randy Dunn (foreground) spoke with (from left) Tricia Bushnell, Barb Shelly and host Brian Ellison

Missouri Rep. Randy Dunn (D-Kansas City) joined KCUR'sStatehouse Blend podcast this weekend to discuss proposed cuts to the University of Missouri system budget.

Rep. Dunn was one of five representatives who voted no this week on an amendment to a House budget bill that would cut the University of Missouri system's funding by $7.6 million. The House Select Committee on Budget voted 20-5 in favor of the cuts.

"People will be laid off, and the jobs that those individuals are doing will be eliminated," says Dunn. "That certainly will have a rippling effect I think throughout the campuses."

Dunn says the cuts were an expression of lawmakers' frustrations with the university's handling of racial tensions on campus this year on the Columbia campus.

The funding shortfall would be exacerbated by an anticipated enrollment decline at the University of Missouri Columbia campus, which expects roughly 900 fewer incoming freshman next year, meaning less tuition revenue.

Dunn says these fund reductions could tie the hands of the new interim chancellor, Hank Foley, to implement changes the General Assembly has been calling on the University to address.

"I think some people are being very shortsighted with the decisions that they're making as it relates to some of these funding cuts and not looking long term at the impacts that will have," says Dunn.

Dunn also spoke on the so-called "paycheck protection" bill, criminal justice reforms, funding for public schools and a bill introduced last month that would award law licenses to any person serving two years in the state General Assembly.

Subscribe to Statehouse Blend to keep up with the Kansas and Missouri legislatures.

Guests:

Brian Ellison is a guest host of talk shows, newscasts, special coverage and community events for KCUR. Follow him on Twitter @ptsbrian.