Dear Jayhawk for Higher Education,
Thank you for your advocacy throughout the 2019 session of the Kansas Legislature. The session adjourned May 29, and now that legislators have returned to their communities, I encourage you to thank them for their roles in beginning the restoration of state support to higher education after a decade of disinvestment.
The Legislature and Gov. Laura Kelly added $33.4 million in base-budget funding for the state’s universities, including more than $14 million for the University of Kansas. This includes $8 million for the Lawrence and Edwards campuses and $6.1 million for KU Medical Center.
While many legislators worked to support higher education this session, three in particular went above and beyond during budget negotiations: Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, Senator Ed Berger, and Representative Ken Rahjes. Even if you do not live in their districts, please reach out to these leaders and thank them. Legislators face difficult decisions as they craft the state’s budget, so we are especially grateful for the increase in base funding for the state’s universities.
It is also important to emphasize that although the increase is an encouraging step, it does not match the Kansas Board of Regents’ initial request of $50 million in fiscal year 2020. Without these additional restored funds, KU cannot fully advance certain initiatives on behalf of students and the state. With your help, KU will continue to advocate for the state’s fully restored investment in our universities.
We appreciate your loyalty to KU.
Heath Peterson, d’04, g’09
President, KU Alumni Association