Breaking News: Wisconsin GOP Lawmakers Introduce Bill To Limit Increases In Tuition Fee At The University Of Wisconsin

Credit: Fox News

The Republican head of the state Assembly’s higher education committee wants to limit future University of Wisconsin tuition increases. He wants it to increase no more than the rate of inflation. This idea was revealed on Tuesday.

The proposal was from Rep. David Murphy and Senator Andre Jacque, both Republicans.

This proposal would prohibit the UW Board of Regents from increasing in-state undergraduate tuition and fees by more than the previous year’s rate of inflation. They circulated it on Tuesday or co-sponsors.

Fox News reported:

GOP lawmakers froze in-state undergraduate tuitions in 2013 but lifted the freeze in 2021, allowing the regents to raise tuitions if they so choose. The board hasn’t made any increases since the freeze was lifted, relying partly on federal pandemic relief funds to cover costs. But Gov. Tony Evers’ budget would leave the system about $130 million short of what the regents say they need to run their campuses over the next two years.

The governor has said that his budget would give the regents enough money so that they shouldn’t have to raise tuitions, but system officials have said that after the 10-year freeze, everything is on the table.

“I always feel that the university should have some independence because they are an independent group,” Evers said Tuesday when asked about the bill.

Evers said he supported keeping tuition “at a reasonable level.”

Rep. Murphy chairs the Assembly’s colleges and universities committee. He and Sen. Jacque wrote in a memo to lawmakers that their bill would prevent tuition from skyrocketing and help families plan for college expenses.

Resident tuitions vary across system campuses. They range from about $4,750 per year at the system’s two-year institutions to about $9,275 at UW-Madison, the system’s four-year university.

Those costs do not include student fees and room and board.

In September 2022, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) introduced the Student Loan Reform Act of 2022. This bill was created to reduce the cost of tuition by holding colleges financially responsible for the loans they encourage students to take.

The bill specifically requires that colleges become guarantors of up to 50% of future federal student loans and risen colleges to 25% of the value of future defaulted loans.

The bill will also force any university charging over $20,000 a year for undergraduate tuition to gradually eliminate 50% of their administrative staff to qualify for future student loans.

“America does have a student loan problem. But it’s not the problem Joe Biden wants you to believe it is. The real issue with student debt today is that the cost of college tuition has skyrocketed, yet the value of a college diploma has plummeted. What’s worse is the federal government created this problem by writing blank checks to colleges, with little effort to control the cost or quality of higher education. My Student Loan Reform Act of 2022 would end this academic Gilded Age, reduce the cost of tuition, and give colleges a much-needed reality check,” wrote Cotton. 

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