The Legislature and its leadership are to be commended for overriding Gov. Mitt Romney's veto of retroactive pay raises for 13,000 higher education employees.
The unanimous votes of both houses mark an important and gratifying step in the Legislature's commitment to fully fund the higher education contracts. The votes also demonstrate the Legislature's recognition of the economic importance of public higher education to our state and, by contrast, highlight Governor Romney's fiscal short-sightedness.
At the same time, there still remains the need to fund the long-overdue raises owed to more than 1,800 faculty and professional staff who work at our community colleges something the Legislature failed to do today. These dedicated educators, who have not had a funded contract since July 2002, have been waiting more than two years for salary increments that average approximately 1 percent.
Our state needs, and our students deserve, a comprehensive system of public higher education community colleges, state colleges and the University -- that is accessible, affordable and excellent.