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Huckleberries Online

Fri., Jan. 26, 2007, 2 p.m.

Argonaut: Another Year Of Nothing from Legislature?

Full UI Argonaut editorial here

It’s hard not to be cynical this time of year. After all, this is when University of Idaho President Tim White and his peers stand in front of the Idaho Legislature’s joint finance committee and present their idealized budget requests, which rarely get full funding. This year could be better than most, thanks to positive signals emanating from our new governor, Butch Otter. But it’s hard to feel optimistic that everything will be funded. That didn’t keep White from reaching for the stars, however, and rightly so. Among the laundry list of items White requested Tuesday:

• $11.8 million for salaries on top of a $9 million, 3.5 percent across-the-board raise.
• A chunk of Otter’s proposed $51 million for deferred maintenance.
• Approval of Otter’s $38 million proposal to create a needs-based endowment for Idaho students.

Those top two items may be the most important. We’re not saying students don’t deserve more assistance, but making sure we get the most for our money is just as valuable.

UI Argonaut editorial

DFO: 'Tis interesting that UI students already are cynical about receiving decent funding to keep and attract quality educators -- and to keep school costs down for students.

Question: What does the Legislature need to do to make Idaho colleges competitive with others in the Northwest?

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Huckleberries Online

D.F. Oliveria started Huckleberries Online on Feb. 16, 2004. Oliveria's Sunday print Huckleberries is a past winner of the national Herb Caen Memorial Column contest.