By Camaron Abundes
ODESSA- Community college employees all over the state can breathe a little easier, after Governor Rick Perry, (R) restored 154 million dollars in state funding to cover employee health insurance. The Governor originally vetoed a bill in June, pulling the money and many community colleges threatened to raise tuition or cut programs to make up their loses.
"We were always going to provide health care for our employees but the question was where were going to come up with the additional funding that we needed?" said Dr. David Bauske, Vice President of Student Services for Odessa College, "It probably would have been an across the board kind of thing, because you just can't find almost two million dollars laying around in our budgets."
Governor Perry's Veto would have cost Odessa College 1.9 million dollars and 2.065 million for Midland College. Rick Bender, of Midland College told Newswest Nine, MC planned to put off getting new computers and had a plan to make up the money. In Odessa, they waited it out.
"We hadn't developed what you would call a full plan. Funding this year was in place but we knew we would be facing some very difficult choices," said Dr. Bauske.
Governor Perry restored the funds plus an additional one time payment of fifty five million dollars to help wean community colleges of state funded health insurance. Dr. Bauske says he knows this won't protect community colleges in the long run, but at least they will know what they're up against.