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Tim Kaine Hiked Tuition As Governor, But Now Claims To Champion Affordability

- September 12, 2016

In An Op-Ed Today In Time Magazine, Tim Kaine Calls For States To Spend More On Higher Education In Order To Lower The Cost Of Tuition For Students. "Meanwhile, institutions and states alike will have to commit to lowering costs and raising their own investments in education if they want to continue receiving federal funding." (Tim Kaine, "Everyone Deserves Affordable Higher Education," TIME, 9/12/16)

Kaine Claims That "The Clinton-Kaine Ticket Is Fully Committed To Sending Every Child In This Country To World-Class Schools With Great Teachers." "The Clinton-Kaine ticket is fully committed to sending every child in this country to world-class schools with great teachers, no matter where they come from. But higher education is a distinct challenge-which is why our plan will help anyone willing to work for a quality, affordable college degree." (Tim Kaine, "Everyone Deserves Affordable Higher Education," TIME, 9/12/16)

However, Kaine's Big Talk Does Not Match His Actions As Governor Of Virginia

In December 2008, Kaine Offered A Number Of Proposals To Address His Massive Budget Shortfalls, Including A $400 Million Cut To Higher Education. "Gov. Timothy M. Kaine launched a budget-balancing proposal Wednesday that would transform the commonwealth's old-guard fiscal policies into ones that reflect the political conversion from red state to blue. Many of the prescriptions to address a $2.9 billion budget shortfall that he unveiled would have been inconceivable 10 years ago. He proposed doubling the tax on tobacco in a state that once based its economy on cigarettes. He wants to offer early release to some prisoners doing time for nonviolent offenses in a state that trails only Texas in executions. And he has suggested taking steps to end Virginia's long history of housing the severely mentally ill in institutions. 'It strikes right at Old Virginia,' Sen. Ken Cuccinelli II (R-Fairfax) said of Kaine's proposals. Kaine (D) declared 'Old Virginny is dead' after he helped President-elect Barack Obama carry the state in the November election. Analysts say he is embracing a strategy that would force Republican lawmakers to accept through legislative proposals and electoral defeats that the state has changed in lasting ways. In offering his budget amendments to the House and Senate money committees Wednesday, Kaine set about guiding the state through an economic crisis that is likely to define his four-year term as governor. Virginia governors cannot run for reelection. 'We try to make cuts that position us better for the future rather than just find savings for today,' Kaine said. 'Wherever possible, we propose real, long-term savings.' Some of Kaine's proposals were painful but expected. State agencies, including colleges, would face 15 percent cuts. He proposed a $400 million cut to education funding and a $400 million cut to Medicaid, which helps cover medical needs for the indigent, elderly, blind and disabled. But many of Kaine's budget moves were designed to spare programs he considers politically important. Many social service and environmental initiatives will be protected from deep cuts, while once-sacred constituencies could be hurt. Kaine's 30-cent-a-pack increase in the cigarette tax will be debated in a state that was once home to thousands of tobacco farms and is still home to one of the world's largest cigarette makers, Richmond-based Philip Morris. Kaine said the proposed increase, which GOP lawmakers vow to derail, would prevent further cuts to Medicaid while discouraging smoking." (Tim Craig and Anita Kumar, "Kaine Offers Major Shifts In Proposal To Cut Budget," The Washington Post, 12/18/08)

In September 2009, Kaine Announced Higher Education Cuts Of Up To 8 Percent. "Gov. Timothy M. Kaine announced $1.35 billion in budget cuts Tuesday - including nearly 600 layoffs and up to 8 percent reductions in funding for higher education institutions such as Danville Community College. But pending approval of the use of federal stimulus funds, K-12 education has escaped this round of cuts. The Virginia Community College System, which operates Danville Community College, faces a 6.9 percent budget cut. State four-year colleges face a reduction of 8 percent. According to Kaine's 2010 Budget Reduction Plan, those reductions have been offset by the use of State Fiscal Stabilization Funds set aside for 2011." (Catherine Amos, "Kaine Trims Up To 15 Percent From Higher Ed," Danville Register & Bee, 9/8/09)

  • "Kaine's Proposal Includes Cuts To Almost All State Agencies, Although Higher Education And Corrections Will Suffer The Brunt Of Them." (Anita Kumar, "Va. To Cut 929 Jobs To Ease Shortfall," The Washington Post, 9/9/09)

Between 2008 And 2012 Higher Education Funding Was Slashed From 1.76 Billion To 1.37 Billion In Virginia, A 22.1 Percent Reduction. "Kaine entered the governor's mansion half way through fiscal 2006, inheriting a $1.45 billion budget for higher education costs. That rose to $1.76 billion in 2008. Kaine's final budget proposal called for funding to hit a low point of $1.37 billion in fiscal 2012. So if you compare the proposed 2012 valley to the 2008 peak, Kaine endorsed a 22.1 percent cut to higher education spending -- close to the Republicans' number." (Sean Gorman, "GOP Says Tim Kaine Cut Colleges By 25 Percent," PolitiFact , 4/4/12)

The Average Cost Of In-State Tuition Increased From $3,812 In The 2005-2006 School Year To $5,003 In 2009-2010, A 19 Percent Increase When Adjusted For Inflation. "Sure enough, tuition did go up during Kaine's term. The average costs for in-state tuition and instructional fees at four-year institutions - not including room and board - rose from $3,812 in the 2005-2006 school year to $5,003 in 2009-2010. That's a 31.2 percent increase. Adjusted for inflation, it's about a 19 percent rise." (Sean Gorman, "GOP Says Tim Kaine Cut Colleges By 25 Percent," PolitiFact , 4/4/12)

  • The Average Cost Of Community College Tuition Increased By 13 Percent During Kaine's Time As Governor. "The average cost for tuition and instructional fees at Virginia's community colleges rose from $2,182 in the 2005-06 school year to $2,716 in 2009-10. That's a 24.5 percent increase. Adjusted for inflation, it's about a 13 percent rise." (Sean Gorman, "GOP Says Tim Kaine Cut Colleges By 25 Percent," PolitiFact , 4/4/12)

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