There is always a cute dance that takes place at the start of every legislative session, where we get to see just how mean, crazy, out of touch, or (gasp dare I say it?) reasonable newly elected or appointed legislators are. Well, I am sorry to say that Representative Steve Eliason (R-Sandy, District 45) appears to be falling on the “mean” side.
By proposing HB 285, Repeal of Higher Education Tuition Assistance Program, Eliason is attempting to remove a job creator in our state…and I don’t quite know why. Heck, I even tried to find any news-clipping or blog post that might explain this bizarre move. Nothing.
So I have to presume that Eliason is coming from a budget hawk, starve the beast, mentality where any government spending is bad government spending. Even if such spending is good for the state.
The Higher Education Tuition Assistance program is specifically designed to help low income students pay for the high price of college; where the only barrier to their education is not a lack of ability, but a lack of funds. The program, presumably, helps dozens, if not hundreds, of students receive a college degree – a degree that will allow them to receive higher paying jobs…by extension helping the state economy.
As of the time of posting, no fiscal note was attached to the bill, so I can’t tell you exactly how many dollars go to students. But I have to believe that every single one of those dollars is an investment in our state and our citizens. By trying to reverse this bill, Eliason is trying to reverse course for our state.
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