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WVVA Capitol Beat

Lawmakers share thoughts on budget cut for higher education

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CHARLESTON, WV (WVVA) -

Most people will agree that the key to a successful future begins with education. But because of recent budget deficits for the state of West Virginia, every state agency, including higher education will be forced to cut back this year and slim the excess spending from their budgets.

"It's hard to make cuts, but there are things that have to be cut,” says Delegate Joe Ellington (R). We have a finite budget and we have to work within that budget."

But some lawmakers believe more needs to be done to save the higher education system from continuing to be cut.

“I'm just hoping that all the men and women and the children of West Virginia get a good education,” says Delegate Clif Moore (D). “But with those cuts, we're not going to be able to provide the level, the quality and the type of education that we need to diversify and move this state forward."

However some legislators say as difficult as the cuts may be, it must be done.

“I think there is a lot of fat to be cut within the budget, says Delegate Marty Gearheart. “I believe our committee the finance committee is going to work pretty hard on that and I think our budget will get more streamlined then it ever has been before."

Delegate George Ambler, who is an educator himself, says even just one year of budget cuts could be detrimental to students in the area.

“My biggest concern when we start talking about, that is how that's going to affect the upcoming seniors that are going into school,” says Delegate Ambler. “Is that going to raise the tuition cost and things. You know we're burdened enough now with trying to get our kids into college and pay for them. I'm always concerned when we have a cut in education."

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