I note that in your Fall '98 issue, you editorialized against CI-75, the Right to Vote on Taxes Initiative, which ultimately passed.
Every Montana University System professor and staff person should have supported CI-75--if not on principle then simply through raw self-interest. The prosperity of the university system ultimately is tied to the prosperity of our state as a whole because the level of our state's wealth sets the level at which the taxpayers and students can afford to support higher education. Over the past three decades, we have seen Montana's economy relentlessly slide compared to the nation as a whole, while the state's political establishment continues to ask for more and more time and more and more money to turn things around. It hasn't worked.
What has worked is properly-drafted tax and/or spending limitation. States that have such limitations--Washington, Colorado, Nevada, and others--have plenty to spend on higher education. Everyone wins, including university faculty, staff and students.
Prof. of Law
University of Montana-Missoula