HOUSE passes revised tuition bill

Wednesday, May 16th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ The Oklahoma House passed a higher education tuition bill Tuesday, a day after legislative leaders and Gov. Frank Keating announced a budget agreement that allocates an additional $34 million for state colleges and universities.

The tuition bill, previously passed by the Senate, was withdrawn from consideration by House leaders last week in a dispute with the Senate over the amount of money designated for education.

Senate negotiators wanted to give higher education at least $30 million, but the House wanted to appropriate less with the difference going to common education.

The agreement announced Monday allocates an extra $109 million for education, including $61.3 million for public elementary and secondary schools, $34 million for colleges and $5.3 million for career technology.

The House passed the tuition bill without debate. It takes away tuition-raising power from the Legislature and gives it to state regents, who could raise in-state tuition by a maximum of 7 percent a year for the next five years.

The bill also authorizes raising out-of-state tuition by 9 percent yearly.

Higher Education Chancellor Hans Brisch has said the tuition bill would give higher education about $15 million the first year if all colleges raised tuition by 7 percent.

The measure was passed 69-27 and now goes to Keating for his signature.

The bill is Senate Bill 596.