College chief prepares for battle at Utah Capitol

College chief prepares for battle at Utah Capitol

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LOGAN, Utah (AP) -- Utah's high-education commissioner says deeper cuts at public colleges and universities would be catastrophic.

William Sederburg said the nine schools are at a tipping point and could sustain lasting damage if lawmakers do nothing to reverse the effects of past budget cuts.

Sederburg plans to spend much of his time at the Utah Capitol in January, February and March when legislators go to work on another budget.

He said he was heartened by the budget plan unveiled recently by Gov. Gary Herbert for the fiscal year starting July 1. It calls for reducing the 17-percent cut Utah's schools are laboring under by half.

"We're optimistic," he told The Herald Journal of Logan. "We think that the governor wants to restore funding."

Senate budget chairman Lyle Hillyard, R-Logan, said he was making no promises.

"If (revenue) continues to drop, that will make it even worse," he said.

Hillyard said he was unmoved by Sederburg's use of the word "catastrophic" to warn against additional cuts.

"I'll let you come and sit in my office and you'll hear 30 or 40 or 50 different agencies tell me the same thing," he said. "I can just tell them that I don't print money, and that we have to do the best we can with the budget we have."


Information from: The Herald Journal

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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