Boren wants rainy day fund tapped for colleges

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - State political leaders are giving a cool reaction to a call by University of Oklahoma President David Boren to use the Rainy Day fund for state colleges and universities.

Boren says the $600 million dollar fund was created for financial emergencies like now and says it would at least maintain the appropriations level for higher education.

But a spokesman for Gov. Henry and Republican and Democratic leaders in the Senate says the reserve fund should be saved for possible future economic troubles.

Governor's spokesman Paul Sund says Henry is sympathetic to the concerns of higher education. But he says Henry doesn't plan to take money from the fund because of uncertainty in the economy and possibly tougher times ahead.

Senate President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee says higher education should meet their budgeting challenges by cutting costs.

And Senate Democratic Leader Charlie Laster indicates he's also opposed to tapping the reserve fund.

Higher education officials have proposed a $1.18 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1 which is an 8.35 percent increase over the current year's budget.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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