Republican daydreams that they'd be able to take back the Minnesota House on account of overreach in higher education funding may find their hopes dashed upon reading St. Cloud Times' Mark Sommerhausers' article, DFL legislators question MnSCU funding requests:
DFL legislators set to oversee Minnesota state colleges and universities says the school system’s request for a boost in state funding may be unrealistic. . . .
In a budget request to state lawmakers approved earlier this month, the MnSCU Board of Trustees asked for $97 million in additional state funding in the budget cycle that begins next summer. MnSCU leaders also proposed in the request to increase tuition by about 3 percent and to provide a wage and benefit increase of about 3 percent to MnSCU faculty and staff.But Pelowski, DFL-Winona, says he’s skeptical about the request. Pelowski was named chair of the House Higher Education Finance and Policy Committee after DFLers reclaimed control of the chamber in the Nov. 6 elections.
Pelowski says state government is still in a fiscal crisis, facing a projected two-year deficit of about $1.1 billion. He says his goal is to avoid further cuts to state funding for colleges and universities next year, after those institutions sustained historic levels of cuts in the previous budget.
“Anybody who says they want to spend new, they’re living in a fantasy world,” Pelowski said.
The MnSCU system enters 2013 after absorbing an epic hit to its state support during the last budget cycle. State funding for MnSCU was cut by more than 10 percent in the two-year budget approved in 2011, the second-largest funding cut in the system’s history.
Last week, Bluestem had noted a hopeful Republican's letter to the editor of the Morris Sun in "Overreach" making rounds: elections pave way for Social Democrat liberal arts university utopia:
Republicans interviewed for the article seemed to favor different odds, but nobody quite reached around for the benchmark put forth by Morris Sun reader Steve Fults of Donnelly, Minnesota. In his letter to the editor, Congratulations Democrats, Fults writes:
You got rid of most of the conservative Republicans in the state. Now you liberals will be free to raise the state budget billions of dollars. Our schools and teachers will have unlimited funding, there will be plenty of money for state programs and universities. There might even be free funding for students to go to liberal arts universities where learning the evils of capitalism and how to become a social Democrat is a top priority. The best part is it will all be funded by taxing those evil job creating corporations. I'm sure we will all get the promised tax cuts and finally have utopia.
Perhaps they'll just have to focus on bashing the University, instead of the post-secondary education system that houses technical and community colleges along with those dirty-hippie generating liberal arts degrees.
Meanwhile, Forum Communications political reporter Don Davis writes in Policies and politics quiet ahead of the new session that Senator Majority Leader Tom Bakk is so planning to block Scott Newman's fantasy legislature when it comes to marriage freedom:
Given an expected state deficit and the federal questions, Bakk says he wants to limit debate on items that do not involve the budget.
One issue he is fighting is eliminating a law that bans gay marriage.
“We are getting some calls from some real liberal constituencies on the gay marriage issue and repealing the language in statute,” Bakk said.
"Real liberal constituencies, " Tom? Perhaps he's more comfortable with the fake ones.
Bluestem has a hard time seeing how marriage equality will cost taxpayers a dime (having to buy wedding presents is just a private initiative that will spur consumer spending), but maybe it's that liberal arts education clouding our math.
Photo: Republican utopian fantasy projections might not provide a path to retaking the Minnesota House of Representatives.
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