Letter to the Editor

Jetton is watching out for state funds

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

To the editor:

In this day of Alaskan bridges that benefit family, I am proud of any legislator who will do what is right even if it pains his own neighbors. House Speaker Rod Jetton is standing for the legislative process that governs the state and keeps our finances in order when he rejects funding for the Southeast Missouri State University River Campus bonds.

I can understand the university wanting to get ahead of rising costs, but it should not be let off the hook for knowingly taking the wrong path of selling bonds without backing. The university is required to have legislative approval of a revenue stream before it sells bonds for projects such as the River Campus. It did not have this approval. It did have support for the project from Speaker Jetton and the governor, but financing had to wait until it was available. If SEMO is allowed to go around the normal legislative process, what will stop other state entities from doing the same, forcing the state into another financial fiasco?

The regents have indicated they will not admit their mistake, which leaves Jetton no honorable choice but not to support them.

It would have been very easy for Jetton to go along, knowing that constituents benefiting financially would probably support that decision. Instead, he chose the correct decision for the state as a whole. I wish we saw this attitude in more of our national legislators.