Friday, July 27, 2007

Stealing Our Funds

I've been doing some research lately an came across and interesting news story in the Austin American Statesman about college tuition. Of course headlines about college tuition always catch my eye and I found out some interesting information. It looks as if college tutition will be rising once again in the near future due to an action by our current governor. The article I found was regarding Rick Perry vetoing $154 million in state funding for community colleges. Due to Rick Perry's veto, it will force community colleges to increase tuition, restrict enrollment, and it will lead to a signficant increase in local taxes.

Fortunately, Leutinenant Governor David Dewhurst is standing up for community colleges and demanding the $154 million in state funding. Dewhurst proclaimed, "I've had enough of this, I want to see $154 million go back to our community colleges." He is also joined in this battle by the Speaker of the House Tom Craddick. The legistlative board will be convening in the near future to discuss this issue. I am completely outraged that governor Perry would take this money away from the community colleges. As previously stated, community colleges have decided that without this funding they will be forced to increase tuition and restrict enrollment. Governor Perry is always stressing the importance of education, but at the same time he is dening funding to our educational institutions. Increasing the cost of a college education only discourages people from continuing their education and places an even greater financial burden upon students.
Full Article:

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Fenced In

The constant debate about the 700 mile long fence along the Texas-Mexico border is once again taking center stage. The opposition to this very vast and very expensive fence is growing rapidly throughout the state and even the nation. Many people are opposing this fence for numerous different reasons. For instance, rancher Bill Moody has been living in this area for most of his life and adamantly expressed that building this fence is nothing but a "big expense, and a big problem." Another wealthy ranch owner, Brian O'Brien, agrees with Moody citing that "If the river doesn't keep them out, why do you think a wall will?" Not only have wealthy land owners expressed their disapproval, but they have also teamed up with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service who is also trying to prevent this project from happening. These environmental activists are angered because of the countless hours they have been putting in to restore the habitats in the Lower Rio Grande Valley National Wildlife Refuge. I think it's ironic and interesting how in this case wealthy landowners and environmental activists are taking the same opposing side to the same issue.

However, Congress proclaims that illegal immigration is increasing too rapidly and that something needs to be done immediately. Their solution is building this 700 mile long fence along the border. The fence is projected to cost between $2.1 billion and $8 billion, and maintaining the fence is estimated to cost about $49 billion over the next 25 years. I believe that immigration is definitely a major problem that we face today and should be addressed immediately, but I don't agree that building an immensely long fence is the solution. With every solution comes a loop-hole, and I believe that immigrants will still find a way into the United States somehow. Also, Congress is just predicting that this fence will be effective. Nothing has been tested and therefore no one can say whether or not this fence will actually prevent illegals from coming.

This widely debated issue will continue to stir up public opinion until it is either built or abandoned. This project will directly effect many individuals including each and every Texas citizen, so I believe that we should take a stance and fight for what we think is the proper thing to do is this situation and really think about if the outrageous cost will eventually pay off.

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