Governor Matt Bevin enacts immediate 4.5 percent cut to higher education budgets

Herald Staff

The executive order from Governor Matt Bevin for 4.5 percent cuts to every state funded college and university has made its way to the state Finance and Administration Cabinet.

The letter, delivered on March 31 from the governor’s office, advised Secretary William M. Landrum and State Budget Director John Chilton that allotments for all state higher education institutions be reduced before the end of the business day.

When asked for statement, WKU’s Office of Public Affairs sent this statement from President Gary Ransdell.

“We are aware of the Governor’s decision to proceed with cutting 4.5 percent from university budgets by withholding it from the fourth quarterly allotments that are scheduled for today. Our budget is complex and nearly two-thirds personnel. We will likely have to tap some of our reserve funds to manage a $3.5 million reduction at this late date in the fiscal year, but we will make those decisions in the next few days.”

The WKU Board of Regents was presented with a revisions to this fiscal year’s operating budget at March’s board meeting that totaled $1,464,500.

This executive order comes at a time when the state house and senate are trying to negotiate a budget with much debate focused on a future 9 percent cut to higher education, as outlined in the senate and governor’s proposed budgets.

In a press conference this afternoon at the capital, Attorney General Andy Beshear questioned Bevin’s authority to enact his order.

“A governor, any governor, does not have this power or authority,” Beshear said. “The Governor’s actions violate explicit actions that govern budget reductions.”

Beshear said that he would wait 7 days for a recension from the Governor’s office before seeking litigation.