Five state legislators were in Bloomington this morning to brief voters on the session.
Right-to-work and the smoking ban have been big issues at the Statehouse, but the representatives and the one state senator in attendance wanted to focus on other bills that have gotten less attention. Democratic Representative Matt Pierce from Bloomington says all the proposed education legislation should be sending red flags.
“What we’re essentially seeing in drips and drabs is a concentration of power within the commission of higher education that I think very shortly will result in that commission essentially becoming a de facto board of regionals,” he says. “I think we’re going to wake up one morning and find that each of our state institutions are going to have lost some discretion to actually run their institutions the way they think is best.”
Pierce says that compares to the almost 50 percent they received 30 years ago. Republican Representative Matt Ubelhor from Bloomfield says education already consumes too many tax dollars.
“There’s so many pulls on our budget and we need to be responsible to all of them, and it’s a great deal of money we are already putting into every level of education.”
Ubelhor says K-12 and higher ed combined take 65 percent of the state’s tax dollars.