Friday, February 25, 2005
Gov. Matt Blunt said Thursday he is delaying $100 million in monthly payments to Missouri's major universities to try to ease state cash flow troubles.Oh, please Matt, give me a damned break.
Democrats accused the Republican governor of breaking his campaign pledge not to withhold money from public education - a charge Blunt denied.
Missouri's colleges and universities have suffered repeated funding cuts as governors and legislators have struggled to balance the state budget in recent years.
Most recently, Democratic Gov. Bob Holden withheld $210 million from K-12 and higher education in July 2003, then gradually released the full amount by April 2004 as state revenues came in better than he had expected.
While campaigning for governor, Blunt often criticized Holden's budget withholdings. In his written campaign platform, Blunt that if he were elected, "money that has been approved for our public schools will NEVER be withheld."
Blunt, who took office last month, said Thursday that his campaign pledge applied only to K-12 education.
"I've never said we won't withhold money from higher education," said Blunt, adding that regardless, "this isn't a withholding. It's a deferred payment."
(via Jefferson City News-Tribune)
They pilloried Democratic former governor Bob Holden for doing this -- and Blunt's withholding is much larger than Holden's withholdings from the state university system ever were.
And, I might add, Holden gave the universities all plenty of warning so that they could plan accordingly. Apparently, Blunt just dropped this bomb on Wednesday with little or no warning.
Let me repeat this for you: My STATE UNIVERSITY is about to have to BORROW several million dollars from a bank to keep meeting payroll for something Republican Governor Blunt said during the campaign he'd never do and criticized his Democratic predecessor incessantly for doing.