You always know it is May in Tennessee when your allergies are screaming, the sun beats down on you, the weather hovers in the 70s and 80s, and the Legislature cuts more money from higher education forcing them to give us another double digit tuition increase. With Bredesen passing on 55 million in budget cuts to higher education both state college systems(UT and TBR) are grasping at straws to prevent students from experiencing what could be a 15 percent rate increase, and to keep it below double digits.
While college students scramble to find additional funding for their education leave it to Memphis Democrat Karen Camper to ask for 500,000 dollars for the Pink Palace Museum in Midtown Memphis. Now I am all for giving money in good fiscal years to pet projects like this, but this is not the year. Other legislators asked for $97,000 for the Chattanooga Zoo, and a $50,000 for a security fence. Where is the impassioned plea from our elected officials to cut the pork and give college students a break? Every year we are shouldered with an increasing tuition bill that is shouldering us with so much debt that we will be paying for college long after we're dead if the trend continues.
So my message to the TN Legislature is cut the pork, and fully fund education, or you may just find yourself sitting with President Bush in Crawford after the 08 election.