Montana students cannot shoulder the cost of this budget shortfall any longer.
The recent fire season, coupled with a shortfall in expected revenue, has left the state in a massive budget crisis. Gov. Steve Bullock originally requested a 10 percent reduction across all state agencies in addition to the cuts that already occurred during the legislative session. This cut would have gouged the University of Montana.
As a new special session is called, the governor is now urging the legislature to seek new revenue enhancements to offset the cost.
I’m a student here at the university, and already I’ve seen my tuition increase to reflect the slashing of the Montana University System by the state legislature. I’m not alone in this. Across the state, students are seeing the promise of Montana taken away from them as the legislature moves more and more funding away from public education.
Montana’s budget shortfalls will not be fixed long-term if we continue to withhold good, affordable higher education from Montana’s families.
Students are willing to take some weight and lighten the load. If the state leaves us holding more than we can carry, we will collapse.