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LETTER: Wilhelm one of the hardest working senators

By Sen. Herman Quirmbach, District 23, Ames

I urge voters in Senate District 26 to re-elect an outstanding public servant, Sen. Mary Jo Wilhelm, one of the hardest-working and most respected members of the Iowa Senate.

Among the many reasons to re-elect Sen. Wilhelm is the senator’s support for freezing state university tuition. Republican candidates can talk about freezing tuition, but talk is cheap. Senate Democrats did the heavy lifting to make it happen two years in a row, and we would have had a third freeze but for Gov. Branstad’s 2015 veto.

In-state tuition doesn’t cover the full cost of educating a student, so with enrollments surging — up 10,000 at ISU alone — the universities needed more state support to avoid asking Iowa students to pay more. 

Miraculously, in some very tight budget years, Senate Democrats — with Sen. Wilhelm’s firm support — three times scraped together the resources to get the job done, while still balancing the budget. Senate Republicans claimed to support the tuition freezes, but when it came to a vote, they almost unanimously voted “no” in 2013, “no” again in 2014, and “no” again in 2015.

Getting a college education is more important than ever to a young person’s future, but college student debt is a big problem across the country.  Sen.Wilhelm understands the problem and has answered the call with actions, not just words.

Iowa needs more leaders like Senator Wilhelm. Please vote for Sen.Mary Jo Wilhelm on Nov.8.

— 20161031 — op —