Senators protect education

It’s not often politicians really listen to what they’re told.

More often than not, it seems that what people try to tell them goes in one ear and out the other. Granted, they might be looking out for what’s best for their areas rather than what their constituents want, but it’s so nice to hear they did what someone asked of them.

NIU students got a chance to see this wonder of politics this week when state legislators took Gov. James Thompson’s advice and let his veto of a bill calling for medical aid dollars remain vetoed.

Thompson told the lawmakers if they overrode his veto, then he’d have to fund the Medicaid program by sapping dollars originally earmarked for higher education.

Luckily, his urgings didn’t fall on deaf ears and the state can continue pumping the dollars it intended for universities into universities.

Still, it must have been a hard decision for the representatives, who had to choose between Illinois’ aging or their collegiate grandchildren.

Unfortunate as it might seem, politics could be at play here. It’s not wise politically to reduce state money for education in the face of rising tuition when those footing the bills are future voters. While the legislators really didn’t do anything, at least they watched their backs and preserved universities’ financial source for another year.

At the least, it’ll help another year to breathe a little easier. Hopefully, the ears of government will be open until next time.