The Louisiana House refused Tuesday to relinquish legislative control over tuition hikes for students at Louisiana’s public colleges.

A proposal by Rep. Thomas Carmody, R-Shreveport, would have spelled out in the state constitution that tuition increases don’t require approval of two-thirds of the Louisiana House and state Senate.

Carmody said the campuses need to be able to raise their charges on students to offset the steep reductions in state funding to the schools.

“How are they supposed to continue to operate in a state that will not put up the money?” he said.

The House voted 51-45 for House Bill 87. It needed 70 votes to pass.

Opponents of the bill said the state should fund its priorities, not shift costs to students.

“Isn’t this in a way a tax on their dreams?” said state Rep. Sam Jones, D-Franklin.