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Governor’s plan would cut $750,000 from EICC budget

Iowa lawmakers are looking to cut $100 million from the state's current budget, and college students may be the ones to pay the price.

Earlier this week, Gov. Terry Branstad proposed $110 million in cuts, including $8.7 million from the state's community colleges.

"The budget reductions I'm recommending for this fiscal year are difficult, but they do maintain funding for mutual priorities," said Branstad.

That proposal would translate into $750,000 in cuts for Eastern Iowa Community Colleges. The money would need to be removed from the current year's budget, which runs through June 30, 2017.

"We have to deal with that in what amounts to five months left in the fiscal year, which obviously is going to be a very big challenge for us," said Alan Campbell, EICC's associate director for marketing and communications.

The impact would be spread out among EICC schools in Clinton, Muscatine and Scott County.

"We'll be looking at programs, we'll be looking at services, we'll be looking at some of those things. And then, of course, next year, we'll probably be looking at a tuition increase whether we like it or not, that's a real possibility for us," said Campbell.

Campbell said any cuts to EICC's budget won't impact plans to create an urban campus for Scott Community College in downtown Davenport. Money for that project is in a separate fund and is not part of the general budget.

Branstad has also proposed cutting more than $25 million from Iowa's Board of Regents, which oversees the state's three public universities.

Legislators must now decide whether or not to move forward with all of the proposed cuts.