Rep. Kelly Fenton needs a reality check for her July 26 Viewpoint, "Working for Woodbury families." Tuition in Minnesota is going to skyrocket, college programs are going to be cut and Minnesota students are going to face more student debt because of the GOP agenda. She said key provisions were passed, but she didn't explain how the policies she is proud of will force higher tuition.
Fenton and her caucus, led by Republican Speaker Kurt Daudt, and Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka provided only half of the funding that Minnesota State University Systems needs and requested, and only a third of the funding that the University of Minnesota requested, to sustain the research and high education standards we expect from a key economic driver. The University of Minnesota warned the Legislature tuition would rise because of the budget passed by Fenton. U of M President Eric Kaler specifically pointed to the lack of funding from the Legislature when proposing a tuition increase for this fall and warned students of "some painful and programmatic cuts."
But Fenton didn't shortchange Minnesota's students and colleges for nothing. In fact, her votes both showed us what she valued and fulfilled one of her leadership's top priorities: a tax cut for the richest 1,100 estates in Minnesota. So, for the Woodbury families and students that will be taking out larger students loans this fall to attend college, the richest 1,100 estates in Minnesota thank you for taking on the cost so they could get a bigger tax cut.
You can have your own opinions, but the facts are plain.
Rep. JoAnn Ward
Ward represents Minnesota House District 53A.