Students Protest Against Higher Ed Cuts

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Students Protest Against Higher Ed Cuts

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Brandon Rittiman / KUNR

College students protest at the steps of the Nevada Capitol building Monday.

Students sent a loud message to lawmakers and Governor Brian Sandoval: the proposed cuts to higher education are not acceptable.

The Governor's budget would cut state support for higher education by 17 percent.

Nevada's two public universities are planning to shut down more degree programs and lay off hundreds of staff and faculty.

Hundreds of students chanted outside and inside both the Capitol and the legislature building.

Dozens packed into Governor Sandoval's outer office trying to get an appointment to speak their piece, but were told he was busy.

Michael Flores is one of the organizers of the protest. He and hundreds of his fellow students from UNLV got here on a 10-hour bus ride from Las Vegas.

He says the students will keep the pressure on all legislative session to try and get support for some kind of tax increase to undo the cuts.

Flores: "Whether it's some sort of broad-based business tax, whether it's taxes on mining, we believe something is going to happen."

In addition to the protest, students gave testimony to legislative committees about what the cuts would mean to them.