The two senators who opposed the 2018-19 higher education budget bill did so for political reasons.
Republican Sens. Steve Vick and Dan Foreman both decried what they consider a left-wing agenda at the state’s colleges and universities.
Neither senator actually debated against the bill Monday, which passed the Senate 33-2. But Vick, R-Dalton Gardens, took to the floor to explain his vote — a prerogative allowed under Senate rules. Relating the story of a student, who complained that a professor had started a class with a lengthy criticism of President Trump, Vick said the universities should focus more on educating students, and less on politics.
Foreman, R-Moscow, took a similar tack Monday.
“It’s wrong to take public dollars to push a political agenda,” Foreman told Bill Spence of the Lewiston Tribune. “I think (the University of Idaho) does that – and it’s a left-wing, exceedingly liberal agenda. I don’t object to a liberal viewpoint, but I want to see balance.”
Foreman represents Latah County, the home to the U of I.
The higher education budget would put $295.8 million of state general fund money into the college and university system, a 3 percent increase. The bill now goes to the House.