KAJ 18 has, to the best of my knowledge given us the best regional news coverage lately.
Speaking of Governor Schweitzer's plan to increase funding for higher education and freeze tuition, Republican candidate Rick Hill says he has his own plan for funding higher education. He says it involves using priority based budgeting, which means keeping programs that are working and cutting programs that aren't. "The University System, its first priority, should be to keep tuition costs low not an after thought," Hill says.
Of course Rick Hill does not tell us what he believes is working and what is not so that people could decide if they trust his judgement or not. Would that low cost priority convert our university system into redneck ghettos that don't deliver quality and value to students, the businesses that would hire them or the communities that house them? Hill's low information, high rhetoric answer leads me to believe that it would.
On the other hand, Democratic candidate Steve Bullock says he will work to freeze tuition because he believes an educated workforce is critical to improving Montana's economy. "When it comes to higher education, last year, when the Legislature didn't adequately fund it and tuition was increased, that's a tax on every working family," Bullock says. "So I do think that we need to keep tuition frozen and I think it does make sense to spend some of our surplus dollars."
Bullock touched on an issue that Heather Margolis campaigned for in her primary race, that many of our basic operating systems were harshly and unjustly underfunded during the last legislative session, so they should be made whole with our budget surplus.
The race for Montana's next Governor seems to be so clear that I cannot understand why it is not known that our choice is between Bullock who applies reasoned logic about who we are and what we need to do with the resources we have and Hill who insults our intelligence with worn out empty rhetoric and supplied the AP with this ancient youthful photo of himself. Please choose Steve Bullock when you cast your vote this fall.