Tuition, TOPS Cost-Control Bills Move To House For Debate

BATON ROUGE (AP) — A package of bills that would take lawmakers out of the tuition-setting business and place new spending restrictions on Louisiana's TOPS free college tuition program have edged closer to final legislative passage.

         But despite support Wednesday from the House Education Committee, the Senate-backed proposals by Sen. Jack Donahue, a Mandeville Republican, remain a long-shot as they head to the full House.

         One measure would let higher education management boards raise tuition for colleges without needing legislative approval. But that authority is tied to a measure that would put limits on TOPS tuition awards.

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         Gov. Bobby Jindal opposes the TOPS cost-control bill.

         And on Tuesday, the House rejected a proposal that would have let colleges set their own tuition rates. That bill would have kept TOPS from covering the additional costs.

         – by AP Reporter Melinda Deslatte

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