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Gov. Holden to Veto Cuts to Higher Ed

By M. Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis, Mo. – Missouri Governor Bob Holden says proposed tuition hikes at the state's public colleges and universities are a hidden tax on the middle class.

In St. Louis Tuesday Governor Holden took Republican legislative leaders to task for cutting nearly $52 million from the higher education budget. The Governor says he will veto that budget bill.

"This budget is fiscally irresponsible, and simply not acceptable," he said. "This is a budget that leaves many children behind. I have great concern about those left behind, because I know I would have been in that group."

The University of Missouri system is considering raising tuition nearly 20 percent in the face of the state budget crunch.

Republican House Speaker Catherine Hanaway says public universities should make more cuts of their own instead of relying on drastic tuition increases.

The Warson Woods Republican urged Governor Holden to call a special session immediately, so lawmakers can finalize the state's 19 Billion dollar budget.

Hanaway said no Missouri governor has ever vetoed an entire appropriations bill, and Holden is using the crisis to push for tax hikes.

"He wants a special session, he wants a tax increase, and if it takes shutting down the government to get his tax increase, I think he'll go all the way to that shutdown," she said.