Absent answers from State of State address, UMKC leaders wait to see how Mo. budget cuts impact campus

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Missouri Governor Eric Greitens made no mention of the state's budget crisis, or his plan to fix it in his first State of the State Address Tuesday.

He outlined his budget cuts in a Twitter video Monday. The bulk of those $146 million in cuts are to higher education. That includes nearly $56 million in core funding for Missouri’s four year institutions.

University of Missouri-Kansas City leaders are still waiting to find out how much will be trimmed from their $240 million budget as a result.

A complete list of Greitens budget cuts, already had more than $5 million from promising UMKC programs on the chopping block.

A sign at the entrance from the plaza to UMKC's campus boasts the plot of land as the future home of the Free Enterprise Center. A public-private partnership was formed in 2015 with funding from the Kauffman Foundation and others so area high school and college students can pursue entrepreneurial ventures.

But in just his first week in office, Governor Greitens pulled the plug on $3.3 million in public funding for the center and tens of millions more earmarked for higher education.

“Why is all this happening I don’t understand that just sounds not right?” UMKC pre-med student Sky Cope said.

Greitens says he inherited the budget crisis that will require $700 million in cuts the next 18 months.

Greitens' budget slashes $2 million combined out of UMKC co-op dental and doctorate pharmacy programs, and about $200,000 from a neighborhood initiative where UMKC helps it’s neighbors be better citizens.

Adam Phillips learned of the budget cuts Tuesday on his first day as a UMKC freshman.

“Students are going to be the ones to miss out, that’s the bottom line where else is the money to go?” Phillips said.

Greitens says the cuts will help balance the budget and protect elementary education and public safety funding. UMKC Sophomore Samantha Urueta said Missouri should consider alternatives like Kansas’s proposed tax hikes on cigarette and alcohol.

“They should not cut education, that’s people’s dreams and futures,” she said.

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