The House Democrats latest budget proposal makes it crystal clear where their true priorities lie – and it’s not public education. The new House budget proposal would redirect funding from higher education to a variety of social services. It would also cut higher education funding compared with Senate Republican’s version.
The reductions amount to $150 million in spending for colleges and universities over the House’s June 1 proposal. Making matters worse, tuition rates would increase during the second year of the budget cycle if Ross Hunter and his fellow House Democrats have their way. Overall, the Democrats budget would reduce higher education funding by $300 million when compared with the Republicans budget.
House Democrats also rebuffed one of the Senate’s top priorities during the 2015 legislative session, the College Affordability Program. The bill would work to roll back decades of tuition hikes—a result of Democrats treating tuition like a cash cow for bigger state government—by an average of 25 percent at state-run colleges and universities. It would also limit future tuition increases.
Sen. Barbara Bailey, co-sponsor of the College Affordability Program, called out Democrats’ in a recent statement,
“That kind of cut is damaging to higher education. The latest proposal from the House majority is not a real proposal at all. It is billed as a no-new-taxes budget but many of the spending items require tax increases. For example, they’ve put forward a two-year tuition freeze that only happens if their companion tax bill is adopted. That is unacceptable.”
Sen. Bailey went on to point out that the state has the resources to make college more affordable for working families and students. That should, therefore, be a top priority. According to Bailey, House Democrats would put the state back on the track of underfunding higher education—the same track that led to tuition more than doubling over the last decade.
Of course, for Democrats, making higher education affordable for working families and relieving the tuition burden placed on the middle class is not a priority, because that’s not where their campaign contributions come from. Additionally, cutting higher education spending is about making sure Republicans don’t get something they care about. It’s political posturing at its very worst.
Throughout the legislative session, Republicans held true to what they have said they would do: fund education first. Democrats, on the other hand, have only managed to prove their priorities lie with special interests and bigger government.
Eastside Sanity says
the Liberal Welfare Cash Cow. Frank Chopp & his democratic minions never cease to amaze.