Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Pommer Says End to State Funding of Public Colleges Must be Considered

A leading Democratic voice on budget matters at the Capitol says that one GOP legislator's proposal to end all state funding for Colorado's higher education institutions must be considered.

Rep. Jack Pommer, D-Boulder, was quoted in a Rocky Mountain News article as saying that the proposal by Rep. Don Marostica, R-Loveland, might be a necessary step because the state has not been able to adequately fund the universities.

"We have three research institutions - Colorado, Colorado State and (Colorado) Mines - and frankly . . . every year, we erode the quality of those institutions," Pommer said. "If you have a house and can't maintain it, why not just move instead of letting it deteriorate?"

Marostica's idea, which is similar to one floated earlier in the decade when the GOP ran the General Assembly, is in the aftermath of an announcement that the state's budget must be cut by nearly one billion dollars this year.

Gov. Bill Ritter announced Dec. 19 that state agencies must find $790 billion in cuts by Jan. 9.