Dewhurst Hopes to Restore Community College Funds

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AUSTIN -- Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst wants state leaders to find a way to reallocate $154 million in vetoed funds for community college health insurance.

Dewhurst made his pitch Wednesday in a letter to state senators.

Governor Rick Perry last month vetoed the funds. Community college officials from across Texas have responded with anger, saying they'll have to consider tuition increases, local tax increases or restricting enrollment.

Perry rejected the money because of a provision that would have made health insurance allocations to college employees based on their salaries.

A legislative panel that includes Perry, Dewhurst and House Speaker Tom Craddick can decide to reallocate the funds with a majority vote and agreement from Perry.

A spokeswoman says Perry has already begun working with the Higher Education Coordinating Board and community college leaders toward a solution.