David Skaggs, the executive director of state Department of Higher Education, says that overall funding for Colorado's colleges and universities still lags about $750 million below the national average. He says even steady increases within the state's rigid budget system won't be enough to get it on par with other state so leaders will have to find another funding source.
Two of the proposals being considered would have to go to voters for approval. One would raise the severance tax the state charges oil and gas producers. The other would lift the limits on gambling, which would increase tax revenue.
A third proposal would take advantage of an expected increase in federal revenue from the booming natural gas industry. The state gets about half of the federal mineral lease revenue and part any new revenue would be set aside for higher education.
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