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Editor:

It was interesting to read your thoughts on Rep. Allen's bill, House Bill 2105 to end provisional colleges districts.

Where the idea that his bill has anything to do with Eastern Arizona College and Gila Community College is, to say the least, very misguided.

As you point out, this is Allen's third attempt to kill provisional college districts. He would like rural counties to join together to form new districts, but this is not part of his bill. He is interested only in stopping provisional college districts. This is based on, as he puts it, to stop the move of rural counties to have a fully funded community college at state expense.

He somehow thinks that provisional college districts would take money away from the other community college systems.

What he is missing is that provisional college districts cost the state nothing. They allow Gila County to have a special tax to pay for its community college costs instead of taking money from the county general fund. It also allows the provisional college not to pay out-of-county tuition to the college providing the services.

You may remember, he came to Payson to campaign for one person with 11 other members of the legislature. He wanted other members of the legislature "who think like him" to be elected.

He is interested in "not hurting the community college system," but in fact, he wants to hurt rural citizens and their community college offerings. He is ready to deal rural Arizona another major step backward.

His bill is going to be held for a week. Citizens of Gila County need to respond and remind the legislature that we live in the state of Arizona not just one county.

As one of your state representatives, I am working to kill his bill and provide some funding for Gila Community College. Rep. Jack Brown, Sen. Jake Flake and I are all committed to helping GCC and do whatever we can do to protect it.

Bill Konopnicki, Representative, District 5

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