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K-State Today

March 31, 2015



Legislative update March 31

By Sue Peterson

Last week the Senate debated and passed the budget bill. The Senate-passed bill deletes $2.1 million in each fiscal year from the state general fund for Kansas State University, $949,476 from K-State Research and Extension and $146,270 from the College of Veterinary Medicine. The bill also changes the formula to distribute financial aid through the state's comprehensive grant program. The current formula distributes the funds to public and private universities evenly at 50 percent each. The bill passed by the Senate changes the formula to 84 percent distributed to private institutions and 16 percent distributed to public institutions.

Comprehensive grant

Base appropriation: $15,758,338

Advisory Committee Allocation — per current law:

  • Independent colleges and universities: $8,036,752
  • State universities and Washburn University: $7,721,586

FY 2016 Allocation — per proviso in Senate passed bill:

  • Independent colleges and universities: $13,318,754
  • State universities and Washburn University: $2,439,585

Effect on Kansas State University:

  • Number of students awarded 2014-2015: 1,949
  • Estimated number of students awarded in 2015-2016: 1,034
  • Projected loss in number of students: 915
  • Projected loss in dollars to award: $1,644,881

This week, it is likely the budget bills will be sent to a conference committee. This committee will begin deliberations, however will likely not write a final budget until the Legislature returns for the wrap-up session April 29.

Last week the Kansas Senate on a vote of 34-5 passed Senate Bill 133. The legislation, known as the 911 Lifeline Law, has been passed in 21 states. The intent if the proposed legislation is to grant limited immunity from a state's Minor in Possession, or MIP, and Minor in Consumption, or MIC, of alcohol charge in certain circumstances where they make contact with officials during a medical emergency of a minor. If this legislation is passed in Kansas, it would give young people the confidence to pick up the phone and call 911 to look out for the safety of their friends, colleagues and acquaintances. A simple phone call could save students from alcohol-related tragedies. This bill was introduced on behalf of the Kansas State student body president and was the top priority for the Student Advisory Committee.

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