The Idaho Senate has approved a higher education budget with a $7.6 million cut in state support. The Senate voted 28-7 along party lines to pass the budget for Idaho's public universities, which is up $19 million in total funding but with the cut in state general funds, will force the schools to rely more on dedicated funds that primarily consist of student tuition and fees. Democratic Senator Elliot Werk, of Boise, debated against the cut saying: "This is our economic development engine that we are starving for resources." Senate Majority Leader Bart Davis countered that minority Democrats could demand more higher education money because they didn't have to make the hard calls necessary to balance Idaho's budget. Other Republicans added: "This is the best we can do."