State Budget Cuts Take Toll on Higher Education
BY LISA ERWIN
Election day 2010 marked a major change in the U.S. political landscape when balance was restored among the branches of government. The Republican Party achieved a majority in the House of Representatives and gained a number of seats in the Senate. Given the current economy, a vast majority of these newly elected officials ran on a fiscally conservative platform.
As the agenda of the respective branches of government
develops, the higher education community will be watching closely to gain an understanding of the implications and
impact of these changes. It is not yet clear how postsecondary
institutions or pending legislation related to higher education
will be affected.
Equally significant changes in the legislative majority and
in governorships occurred in many of the 2010 state races.
Republicans gained control of an additional five governorships
for a total of 29 governor seats. Democrats hold the governor’s
office in 20 states, and Independents hold one seat. In terms
of state legislatures, the Republican Party gained control of
at least one legislative chamber in 13 states. The Republican
Party now controls 25 legislatures, and the Democratic
Party controls 16. Eight states have control split between
Republicans and Democrats. The remaining state of Nebraska
has a unicameral and nonpartisan legislature.
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