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Campus receives update during Legislative Town Hall

Tax policy, tuition rates and concealed carry laws were discussed in depth during Monday’s Legislative Town Hall at Pittsburg State University.
Campus receives update during Legislative Town Hall
Chief Strategy Officer Shawn Naccarato addresses PSU faculty and staff during July's Legislative Town Hall.

The hour-long campus meeting, hosted by President Steve Scott, Chief Strategy Officer Shawn Naccarato and Legislative Liaison Riley Scott, offered faculty and staff the opportunity to learn about new state policy, and its impact on students, campus and community.

“We’ve worked hard to keep campus updated on legislative matters,” said President Scott. “We want our faculty and staff to know what is going on in Topeka, and what we believe is going to happen next. It helps them plan in their individual areas. It keeps our momentum moving forward.”

The importance of planning was central to every topic discussed during the event.

“We must be very proactive in defining our future, even with the challenges we face,” said President Scott. “We need to make our own strategic decisions about where we want to go, and what we want to accomplish.”

Naccarato and R. Scott provided a detailed overview of the legislature’s successful override of the governor’s tax policy veto and its subsequent passage of a two-year budget. The new tax policy is expected to raise $1.2 billion in additional revenue over the next two years. The state’s budget doesn’t include any additional funding for higher-ed, but Naccarato said that in today’s financial landscape that shouldn’t be seen as a negative.

“The last few years have not been the easiest for higher education in Kansas,” said Naccarato “Going into this session we were worried additional cuts might be part of the legislature’s budget fix. We made a strong case for the important role of higher-ed in Kansas and, thankfully, avoided any additional cuts. While this budget doesn’t provide additional funding, it does provide stability.”

Following the review of legislation, President Scott spoke about lawmakers’ efforts to provide a pay raise for employees who meet certain criteria, and how their effort might impact Pittsburg State. He also provided the audience with a detailed look at the tuition proposal he presented to the Kansas Board of Regents just weeks ago. Pittsburg State’s 2.8 percent tuition increase proposal, the smallest such increase by PSU in nearly 20 years, was approved by regents.

“It’s important to know how our tuition proposal is developed,” said Scott. “A lot of our work with tuition setting is analytic, and some of it is art. We had to do what we felt was right, but also what we felt the regents would support.” 

A full recording of the Legislative Town Hall is available on Pittsburg State’s official YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/pittsburgstate.

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