House Votes For TOPS Program Cost Controls; Jindal Opposed
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Despite opposition from Gov. Bobby Jindal, the Louisiana House has voted to put spending restrictions on the TOPS free college tuition program.
The 61-33 vote Tuesday moved the proposal by Sen. Jack Donahue, a Mandeville Republican, one step from final passage.
Under the bill, the TOPS tuition payment rate would be locked in at the 2015-16 level. Rather than automatic increases whenever tuition costs rise, increases to TOPS payments in the 2016-17 school year and beyond would have to get separate approval from lawmakers.
Supporters say that would ensure Louisiana can continue to afford TOPS.
But the bill drew opposition because it could mean TOPS students and their parents pay more out of pocket.
The measure heads back to the Senate for approval of changes.
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