The troubles here are pretty public. The threats include reducing state workers' pay (in practice) and busting state workers' unions.
The paycuts will also affect K-12 teachers across the state through their access to pension funds (and health care?), as well as by weakening unions, even though they aren't actually state employees.
The PTB don't really care about messing up the schools and university system, so they can propose some pretty outrageous legislation (including splitting off the flagship), which would cost the state a lot more money, all in the name of supposedly cutting costs.
The vilest proposal (though union busting is a close second) is deciding that "limited term employees" will lose access to health insurance and pension benefits. A little time and you'll realize that the majority of such employees are women, and that they often provide the only insurance for their families.
Did I mention that the PTB also want to cut the state funding for medicaid. So the families that will lose insurance through employment won't even have access to medicaid for their children.
There's some bluster on both sides, of course. But the bluster of state workers is so much less effective. I was thinking about how ineffective our bluster is.
And here's what I figured out: our problem is that we actually care.
We value education and care about educating our students.
We care about doing jobs we think are important enough that we take less pay than we'd get in the private sector (it's in the news, not just some opinion I have).
So we aren't going to mess with students or do less work.
I'm really worried about the direction this state is moving. We compare our self to a nearby state, and always complain about the differences. The other state has higher employment rates, higher average wages, and so on. It's also consistently made the decisions over many years to pay taxes to support solid K-12 education and state universities. This state, at least in the 10+ years since I've been here, has tended to make very different decisions.
And now we're going further in that direction.
I'm pretty close to despair right now.