Mixed Reaction to College Cuts

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Mixed Reaction to College Cuts

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Brandon Rittiman / KUNR

College students listen to a lecture at the University of Nevada, Reno.

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Note: Though supported by its listeners, this radio station is licensed to the Nevada System of Higher Education.

Governor Brian Sandoval's proposed cuts to higher education are drawing lots of criticism. So much so that the Governor took some time to issue a news release in response.

It seems like everybody's got something to say about the idea of making those cuts.

On Friday's "Beyond the Headlines" here on KUNR, Assemblyman Ira Hansen, (a republican freshman) says he understands the concern. He has a son going to UNR.

But he says at a time like this tuition should be raised.

Asm. Ira Hansen (R): "Frankly it isn't the responsibility of everybody else in the community to subsidize my son. Yeah, I like that idea. I'd like somebody else to pick up the tab, but the fact is his family and himself are gonna have to pick up the tab if he wants to go to school here. And that's simply because there aren't a bunch of people out there that have extra money in their pockets to tax. "

On the other side of the aisle, Assemblywoman Debbie Smith told us the cuts to higher ed are symptomatic of a bigger issue- that Nevadans aren't used to paying for their own government.

Asm. Debbie Smith (D): "We have been so dependent on people out of state paying for what we need in this state between tourism and gaming, we really do need to take a look at what we need to do for ourselves."

Governor Sandoval vowed to veto any new taxes that would aim to have Nevadans paying more for government services.

He's trying to add some context to the discussion, because while it's fair to say the bottom line is that the university system will get almost 18 percent less money, the lion's share of that comes from the loss of federal stimulus dollars.

Sandoval says the higher education system knew those funds were going away anyhow and had ample warning to prepare.

The Governor also says Nevada's not alone, pointing to other western states that made similarly drastic cuts.