TOPEKA — A wording error in an amendment to the state budget bill passed last week could reduce the amount of state aid allocated to higher education by $3.6 million instead of bolstering it by that amount, as had been intended, the Kansas Board of Regents said.
The board asked Gov. Mark Parkinson on Wednesday to line-item veto that section of the appropriations bill, which also could cost the regents another $40 million in federal stimulus funding, officials said Wednesday.
Rep. Don Hill, R-Emporia, introduced the amendment during a budget debate last week. He intended to add $3.6 million to the higher education budget, but an error by the legislative staff that drafted it actually reduced the budget by that amount, Reggie Robinson, Regents president and CEO said in a letter to Parkinson.
The amendment was approved in the House on a 98-21 vote, and the Senate later also approved it.
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Robinson said if the amendment is enacted, it would drop higher education appropriations below the required funding floor for the regents to use $40 million in federal stimulus funding.
"It is vitally important that this Legislative staff error not jeopardize the $40 million in federal" funding, he said.
Robinson told Parkinson that Hill and legislative staff agreed that the best action to take is to line-item veto the provision.
A Parkinson spokesman said the governor will review every provision in the budget before deciding on any action.