GOP leaders defend cuts to UConn in budget plan

- FILE - University of Connecticut (WTNH)

STORRS & HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The President of UConn says the Republican budget makes a 30-percent cut in their operating budget.

It means regional campuses and the UConn Health Center would be in jeopardy. It would force larger class sizes and less financial aid and the down grading of athletics.

President Susan Herbst saying, “It’s a $300 million cut to the University of Connecticut including UConn Health, the Storrs campus, and all of the regional campuses. It’s an enormous cut.”

Senate Republican leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven), who was intimately involved in preparing the Republican budget plan, says the cuts to UConn are being grossly overstated. He says the actual cut to UConn is more like 17-percent, and that the university system has other ways to raise money noting they have a large endowment and have many successful alumnae.

Fasano says the choice became cutting a school with resources, or funding for services for Connecticut residents that don’t have resources.

When you’re talking between cutting social services, aid to the poor, health care services, where those folks only can rely upon government, they have no other source of income, UConn does.”

And Fasano says that UConn Health in Farmington should merge with Dempsey hospital or some other entity which would solve that perpetual money loosing problem, “UConn Health should be partnering up with someone. They never should have built it. We were against building UConn Health Center many years ago. We said it was a mistake.”

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