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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


“Proposition 100 forum stirs community support, outrage”

Rodney Haas
Rodney Haas / Arizona Daily Wildcat Dr. Rainer Gruessner of the Dept. of surgery at UMC talks about the cost to health care if Prop 100 doesn’t pass during a forum at the Tucson Association of Realtors Thursday April 22 2010.

While education is two-thirds of the Proposition 100 budget, health and emergency services make up the rest ­— and both UA faculty and community members attended a forum hosted by the Arizona Education Network to discuss their views Thursday night.

“”If Prop. 100 does not pass, the blood that is gushing from these cuts that are already to the bone will be falling on the floor,”” said Penelope Jacks, who is with the Children’s Action Alliance. “”Not one dollar from Prop. 100 goes to restore a cut. All it does is avoid much, much greater cuts to come. It’s a band-aid.””

Education, from kindergarten to the university level, is a major part of the Proposition 100 push.

“”If we take out another $42 million, we are talking about a very dramatic impact on the experience that (someone is) going to have as a student,”” said Stephen MacCarthy, UA vice president of external relations. “”It has to ultimately mean fewer classes. It has to ultimately mean fewer student services.””

Although MacCarthy did not come out in support of the proposition, he relayed concerns of many at the university about cuts to financial aid awards and student services.

“”The worry that we have is the diminishment of the educational experience and the diminishment of the degree that (students) have when (they) get out of here.””

The UA, however, is not solely concerned about the effects on education.

Rainer Gruessner, UA head of the surgery department, noted effects on undergraduate and graduate students as well as health care services around the university, mainly at University Medical Center.

“”The University of Arizona is currently in a gigantic struggle on several fronts,”” Gruessner said. “”There will be lack of competitiveness, there will be loss of educational quality and there will be reductions in medical services at UMC. We cannot afford to fall behind other states in the country and other countries in the world.””

Some audience members were against the proposition, making their voices heard in a sea of otherwise autonomously approving voices.

“”Students need to worry about the long range implications more than anybody else,”” said Tom Sander, a member of the board of directors and officers for the Pima Association of Taxpayers. “”The federal government is going to be in the same state as the state is … and that’s my big concern. At some point those debts are going to come due.””

Others had more favorable opinions of the proposition.

Todd Camenisch, UA associate professor of pharmacology and toxicology and state senate candidate, pushed for passage of Proposition 100.

“”A university education should be free or nearly free,”” Camenisch said. “”A student’s vote reflects the community you want to live in. It’s your future.””

Students shared a similar view.

“”It’s regressive to tax, but right now, unfortunately, it’s the only option we have,”” said Elma Delic, a UA journalism and political science senior and board chair for the Arizona Students’ Association. “”In the end, paying one cent is a lot better than bad results.””

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