Public universities should not hire lobbyists

State Sen. David Baria of Bay St. Louis says the idea of state universities spending money on lobbyists to lobby the Legislature “just rubs me the wrong way.”

It should and it does. When universities are having to cut and scrimp to deal with state budget cuts and are raising tuition on students, spending money on lobbyists should be a very low priority — as in no priority at all.

Institutions of higher learning in Mississippi spent $346,000 on lobbying the Legislature last year. The University of Southern Mississippi was top lobbyist with $116,750, followed by Mississippi State at $102.908 and Jackson State at $58,596. The University of Mississippi spent $40,269; UMC, $20,385; Delta State, $5,613; and Alcorn, $2,000. Mississippi Valley State University should be commended. It had no lobbyist expenditure.

Clarion Ledger via The Sun Herald
4/24/11