Archive for Thursday, May 27, 2010

Parkinson says he will veto error in higher education funding

May 27, 2010

Topeka — Gov. Mark Parkinson on Tuesday said he would veto a provision in the budget that contains an error that could cost higher education nearly $44 million.

The Kansas Board of Regents had requested Parkinson strike an amendment to the appropriations bill through his line-item veto authority.

“The regents situation was simply a mistake, and I’ve already made up my mind I will line-item veto that so that can be corrected for the regents,” Parkinson told reporters after a ceremony in which he signed into law the $8.2 billion transportation bill.

The problem on regents funding arose when officials found that an amendment that was supposed to add $3.6 million in funding to higher education actually subtracted that amount.

The error was made in drafting the amendment to the overall state budget bill that was approved by the Legislature earlier this month.

If enacted, the decrease would also drop higher education appropriations below the required funding floor for the regents to get $40 million in federal stimulus funding, officials said.

Parkinson said he is still studying two other provisions that some have requested he veto.

One would divert approximately $240,000 from Planned Parenthood clinics in Hays and Wichita, and the other would bar the use of state funds to implement federal rules on greenhouse gases.

The diversion of funds from Planned Parenthood was pushed by abortion opponents, and Parkinson vetoed a similar provision last year.

The greenhouse gas amendment was supported by legislators opposed to federal restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions. But Parkinson said he feared that if the proposal is not vetoed, it may prompt the federal Environmental Protection Agency to take over environmental enforcement in Kansas.

He said he will probably decide by Thursday what to do on those provisions.

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