Robert Davidson

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College Board Backs Bond Plan

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – As they present their annual request for capital spending, leaders of Mississippi’s eight public universities say they’re pleased with the Legislature’s pledge to borrow $100 million a year to cover the schools’ needs.

The College Board adopted the plan at its meeting Thursday. Each institution adopted 10 top priorities, an amount totaling $634.4 million across the system.

Higher Education Commissioner Hank Bounds says the board knows lawmakers won’t contribute that much. He says, though, that the future map for capital spending laid out in the 2013 bond bill is enough to sustain the universities.

Bounds says he’s encouraged by the 2013 Legislature’s decision to pay for some maintenance using cash, instead of borrowing. That amount could increase next year, boosting capital spending at universities even if bonding doesn’t increase.