Before departing for their two week break, Michigan’s House Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education issued a group of policy recommendations tied to new funding. One recommendation in particular, tries to force public universities to sell their academic freedom or risk losing new state money. Section 273a threatens the state appropriations of any Michigan public university that ”collaborates” with any “nonprofit worker center”. Mind you, the legislature has yet to define either term.
For over a decade, undocumented students, despite being proper graduates of California’s high schools, have had to fight for equal access to the state’s colleges and universities. Before 2001, California’s undocumented students were ineligible for in-state tuition and they were denied access to the state’s financial aid, both public and private. It would be another decade before the California Assembly and Governor would work together to enact legislation that provided access to financial aid at California’s colleges and universities. (Click here for information about past attempts to pass the California DREAM Act and Governor Schwarzenegger’s subsequent vetoes. Or here. Or here.)
The “Regulatory Accountability Act of 2011” (H.R. 3010/S.1606; the RAA) and the “Regulations From the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2011” (H.R.10/S. 299; the REINS Act) are two terribly disruptive pieces of legislation. Together, they pose a huge threat to the safeguards that protect the food we eat, the air we breathe, and more relevant to the topic of this particular space, access to quality higher education.
The REINS Act is the signature bill of anti-government attacks on public protections and it aims to destroy a century’s worth of progress in environmental, health, workplace, consumer, and financial protections.