JFAC Cuts $7.5 Million From Higher Ed

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Legislative budget writers have slashed funding to Idaho's colleges and universities by more than $7.5 million from state general funds.

The 3.5 percent cut is much deeper than the 1.3 percent proposed by Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter. The upside to to the 2012 spending plan includes more than $1.5 million for the Center for Advanced Energy Studies, which BW examined in January.

The center, a joint venture among Idaho's public universities and the Idaho National Laboratory, is expected to open an interactive, public research center in Boise later this year.

If approved by the Legislature, state general funding for higher education would be the lowest in more than a decade.