Bill for higher ed institutions to set own fees passes House

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana's public colleges and universities are another step closer to setting their own fees after a vote Wednesday on the House Floor of the State Capitol.

When the bill came out of the education committee in April, Rep. Chris Broadwater called it a lifeline for colleges and universities facing massive cuts

Wednesday afternoon his focus was shifted toward adding an amendment to his bill to make sure that student fees would only be used for higher education purposes.

He also assured his colleagues that the bill would not affect tuition. That was enough to gain enough votes to pass it along to the Senate.

"This is very different than tuition autonomy," said Rep. Broadwater, R-Hammond. "It's only dealing with fee autonomy. It has no impact on TOPS. We've tried to ensure that we do it in a responsible way by putting an amendment on there to specify."

Rep. Broadwater's bill likely means higher costs for students, according to education leaders.

While his bill passed, a different higher education bill from Rep. Stephen Carter, R-Baton Rouge, failed. That bill dealt with tuition for graduate school programs.

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