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Higher Ed Budget Passes Oregon House Amid Uncertainty At Capitol

Oregon State University

Oregon’s public universities and community colleges are getting a funding boost thanks to a spending plan approved in the Oregon House Thursday. But the fate of the measure is uncertain amid political drama at the Capitol.

While the higher ed community was pushing for even more funding, the budget bill moving forward in the legislature included enough to allow some schools to partly dial back tuition increases set to kick in next fall.

Credit Oregon State University

Not all lawmakers thought the increase was enough, including Rep. Werner Reschke, R-Klamath Falls. I think we’re underfunding this, and as a result, students are paying," he said. "Until we address the cost drivers of what’s making our budget soar, we’re putting this on the back of students.”

The spending plan passed easily and now heads to the Senate. But that chamber is shut down for the moment as Republican Senators have walked out to protest a bill that would regulate carbon emissions. That leaves the fate of dozens of unrelated bills in question.

Copyright 2019 KLCC

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”