Legislation that aims to give tuition-setting authority to Louisiana colleges and universities is heading to the full Senate for consideration.
The Senate Committee on Revenue and Fiscal Affairs signed off on Senate Bill 155 on Monday without opposition.
The bill would ask Louisiana voters to decide by constitutional amendment whether college and university systems should have control over how much students pay to go to college or if that power should remain with the state Legislature.
Currently, Louisiana is one of three states that lets state lawmakers set tuition and fee prices.
“I think that the thought process is we have some good management boards and those boards are capable of looking at the student population and being able to come up with tuitions that they think are adequate and satisfactory for the students they represent,” said Senate Finance Committee Chair Jack Donahue, a Mandeville Republican and sponsor of the legislation.
The proposal has been coupled with another Donahue proposal related to the state’s Taylor Opportunity Program for Students, which could rein in some of the costs associated with the generous and popular scholarship program.
Senate Bill 48, which would stop the automatic increases in TOPS awards tied to tuition hikes, won approval from the full Senate last week, despite opposition from Gov. Bobby Jindal. Donahue said he would not pursue the tuition authority bill separate from the TOPS proposal because of the potential to the state budget.
State higher education leaders support both proposals.