SLAMS DEAL AS 'UNWISE and PREMATURE"
Sen. Scott Rupp blasted Gov. Jay Nixon's plan to freeze tuition at colleges and universities as a "dog and pony show" that's already enshrined in state law.
"It does nothing but re-affirm the tuition cap the legislature passed two years ago," Sen. Rupp said in a statement Wednesday, referring to Senate Bill 389. "A bill he was opposed to becoming law at the time," he added.
"If we were to base next year’s tuition limits off the Consumer Price Index defined in state for the last 12 months, we would find that the CPI has been -.2 percent. Although we won’t know the final CPI for this year until January, based on this current CPI number for the last 12 months, higher education couldn’t raise tuition unless they remit 5 percent of their state appropriations," Rupp said.
"I am disappointed that the governor has negotiated an agreement prematurely that has the potential to tie the hands of the Legislature and keep them from doing what is in the best interest of the taxpayers. This is especially alarming when economic indicators suggest that the CPI will probably be negative if not flat for the next year. If that is the case, then publicly funded higher education institutions could not raise tuition anyway under state law - unless they pay back 5 percent of their appropriations to the state. I hope this unwise and premature side deal will not force massive cuts on the mentally challenged and children with developmental delays, as it gains nothing in return other than a reinforcement of state law that the Legislature passed two years ago," he added.
Gov. Nixon's office did not immediately respond with a comment.
More on Nixon's proposed agreement HERE.