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I have to be honest; I thought the Montana University System (MUS) support from the Legislature would be in jeopardy with a more conservative core of legislators this session. I was wrong.

I do still have concerns over the passing of House Bill 102 and the ability to carry a weapon on Montana’s campuses. Young, stressed and untrained potential carriers, as well as sometimes reactive, often underpaid and stretched staff feels like a negative outcome waiting to happen. (If you have concerns too, please write to the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education at oche@montana.edu).

I also do not like the Montana government dictating sports participation based on birth-sex in HB112, with seemingly little consideration for the fiscal impacts to the university system due to NCAA policy violations and loss of federal funding for noncompliance, not to mention the probable negative economic impact in communities in Montana.

Despite my concerns noted, overarching support for higher education and general funding in Montana has stayed intact. I would like to offer my gratitude to the Legislature for their support of higher education by keeping the MUS budget whole and supporting long range building projects as they have moved through the legislative process. I admire the collective effort to get things done and forge ahead, (without a lot of drama this year!) and the service of the individuals doing this selfless work on behalf of Montana.

Kerry Hanson

Bozeman

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