Bill giving higher ed authority to set tuition passes House committee

Bill giving higher ed authority to set tuition passes House committee

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Another big step toward colleges and universities setting their own tuition happened at the State Capitol.

The measure has already passed the Senate, and now it has passed a House committee.

Supporters of the idea call it a way to protect our schools to help keep them away from a future funding crisis, like seen this legislative session.

Senator Jack Donahue, R-Mandeville, says Louisiana is one of just two states where lawmakers set tuition, not the schools. But Wednesday, Senator Donahue met opposition.

Some lawmakers say they don't think it's necessary to take the authority and power away from themselves.

"I'm trying to see the need for us to abdicate our authority as a legislature," Rep. Marcus Hunter, D-Monroe.

"Well, there's a couple of reasons. Several universities had to have their bonds degraded because they don't have tuition authority. So somebody thinks it's significant," Sen. Donahue.

Fortunately, Senator Donahue had the support of most of the committee.

His bill passed by a vote of 11 to 6 and now goes to the House floor.

The bill is tied to another Donahue bill that puts limits on TOPS scholarship awards. The TOPS bill passed the full House yesterday. It now goes to the governor's desk for final approval, but Governor Jindal calls it a cap on TOPs. The bill does not have his support.

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