Bill to protect colleges from budget cuts when tuition raised
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Lawmakers are considering whether to provide some protection to Louisiana's public colleges from budget cuts when they raise tuition on students.
In recent years, as the schools have increased tuition and fees, Gov. Bobby Jindal and the Legislature have stripped similar amounts of state general fund money - and more - for the colleges.
Rep. Walt Leger, D-New Orleans, is proposing a constitutional amendment to ban the replacing of state funds with college tuition and fee hikes in the state budget.
"It's very simple. When a student is asked to contribute more toward their education, they ought to get more," Leger said.
The measure (House Bill 222) got the backing Tuesday of the House Appropriations Committee without objection. It heads next to the House floor for consideration.
If approved by lawmakers and voters in a statewide election, the bill would take effect on July 1, 2016. It contains a provision that would allow for a 5 percent cut in years that tuition and fees are raised if the state is facing a deficit.
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