Tue., January 18, 2011 7:47am (EST)

State Lawmakers Open Budget Hearings
By Susanna Capelouto
Updated: 3 years ago

ATLANTA  —  
(GPB Photo)
(GPB Photo)
Budget hearings begin this morning at the state Capitol, the time when the state’s lawmakers hear from agency heads about their spending plans. Within the activity today, the Chancellor of the Board of Regents has his turn to talk about proposed cuts to the University system.

Georgia’s colleges and universities will need to absorb over $208 million in cuts next year if the proposed budget is approved by lawmakers.

Tom Crawford, editor of the Georgia Report, says the state’s institutions of higher learning are seeing deeper cuts than K-through-12 education.

“The University system seems to be in the cross hairs right now, if you pardon the expression, because Governor Deal in his new budget really whacked them.”

The largest part of the cuts is in classroom instructions. This year, Governor Deal also stopped the HOPE scholarship fund from spending more than it takes in. That move is forcing lawmakers to make changes to HOPE eligibility.