Friday, August 17, 2007

The Lone "No" Vote on Reciprocity

As expected, the JFC approved a new tuition reciprocity agreement with Minnesota yesterday in a 15-1 vote.

The lone vote against the new agreement was Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend). Grothman's complaint was that Wisconsin will be sending about $12 million per year to Minnesota to compensate for the fact that Wisconsin students pay less than U of M tuition while Minnesota students pay more than UW tuition.

According to Grothman, that means the state is subsidizing Wisconsin students who want to go out of state for their higher education.

This, of course, is quite a stance to take considering -- as higher education board director Connie Hutchinson explained to Grothman -- the extra money that Wisconsin makes off Minnesota reciprocity students more than makes up for the subsidy payment.

In spite of this explanation, apparently Grothman still voted against the agreement.

I know it's a nit-picky question to ask considering the agreement passed, and overwhelmingly so, but what was Grothman's reasoning for voting against the agreement?

Did he have data that contradicts Hutchinson's statements -- in which case the entire JFC should probably know about it -- or does he just generally oppose a program that at least breaks even fiscally while simultaneously providing more affordable higher education options for Wisconsin students?

While Grothman was the lone JFC vote against the new reciprocity agreement, he wouldn't be the only GOP legislator to just oppose reciprocity altogether.

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