Skip to main content
Skip to navigation

Jan. 31, 2013 Volume 34, No. 17

Gov. Nixon proposes $34 million increase in higher ed state funding

State of the State Address

University allocations dependent on performance

After three years of proposing steep cuts to state higher education, Gov. Jay Nixon said Monday that his 2014 budget would include a $34 million increase to colleges and universities. 

His agenda includes a $17 million increase in early childhood education funding and $100 million in K-12 funding.

“Education is the best economic development tool there is,” Nixon, BA ’78, JD ’81, said in his State of the State Address in Jefferson City’s House chamber.

Nixon’s proposed fiscal 2014 budget is $25.7 billion, an increase of more than $2.5 billion over last year’s. Throughout the governor’s first term, his budgets were sparse in their allocations; one year ago, Nixon recommended a 12.5 percent cut to state higher education funding.

Tim Wolfe, president of the University of Missouri System, was encouraged by Nixon’s 2014 budget.

“We thank him for his willingness to invest additional dollars in higher education, and his commitment to find ways to combat our ever-growing backlog of capital needs that in some cases directly affects the learning experience of students and limits enrollment growth in certain degree programs,” Wolfe said Tuesday in a statement.

Nixon urges the following funding for higher education scholarships:

• $1 million in additional funding to expand A+ scholarship opportunities for Missouri high school graduates

• $75.1 million in level funding for the Access Missouri Financial Assistance Program and the Bright Flight Program

Nixon emphasized the need to keep higher education institutions accountable. The $34 million allocation, he said, would be distributed based on performance measures.

Wolfe said the four campuses are committed to the measures and to keeping education affordable. “Higher education is the cornerstone of a healthy economy and vibrant quality of life,” Wolfe said.

In other highlights of the address, Wolfe asked lawmakers to expand Medicaid to cover about 300,000 Missourians through a provision in the federal Affordable Care Act; allocate $10 million for mental health treatment; increase funding for domestic violence shelters by 29 percent; and a plan to uprgrade education and hospital infrastructure, and state parks.