As a student, I can’t help but think about higher education funding as we continue the 2019 Legislative Session. State funding for public universities has taken a nosedive since 2008. Although spending has been on the rise in recent years, funding was still down 16 percent in 2017, adjusted for inflation, from where it was in 2008. This drives up tuition and forces universities to make-do with less at the educational expense of students.
Montanans clearly value public education, as we have largely bucked these national trends. State higher education funding rose by 5.1 percent, adjusted for inflation, since 2008 in Montana, making us one of only five states that flout the national trend. Even though we have staved off cuts, we are still the seventeenth lowest public university spender per student in the nation. We can do better. As we see enrollment fall overall in the Montana University System, we should ask ourselves this legislative session if we will honor our values and do all we can to preserve affordable, high-quality public university education in Montana, or if we will settle for “good enough.”
It’s frustrating to hear statistics like 1 in 50 people will be victims of revenge porn within the general public and now suffer mental health implications. Of these people, many are also often ashamed or scared to come forward.
Victims of revenge porn often lose their jobs or find themselves unable to get a job as a result of this nonconsensual sharing of someone’s photos. House Bill 192 would be a tool to help stop the amount of people negatively affected by revenge porn and help protect Montanans.
It is imperative that we find a solution and support this bill as this law would protect victims and ensure justice would be served.