BATON ROUGE, La. (KPEL) -- The head of Louisiana's four public college systems will ask lawmakers to approve legislation that will grant colleges and universities the authority to set their own tuition rates.

Commissioner of Higher Education Jim Purcell said Louisiana is the only state in the country in which a two-thirds vote of the legislature is required to set tuition rates.

Since 2008, state government has reduced its funding of higher education by more than $625 million. This coupled with having some of the lowest tuition rates in the country means revenue generated from higher tuition would improve the student experience, Purcell said.

Senate Education Chairman Conrad Appel is expected to introduce legislation in the upcoming session that will do what Purcell has requested, but he said schools will have to live up to certain performance benchmarks.

Schools would also have to do a better job at granting degrees that would lead to better-paying jobs once the student graduates.