Sen. Morrish To Refile TOPS Management Bill
A bill that would have placed a cap on state-sponsored TOPS scholarships has only been pulled to clean up technical language in the bill and will be refiled, according to the author of the bill.
State Sen. Dan Morrish said he felt it was better to file a new bill altogether rather than trying to clean up the previous one with amendments.
Morrish's bill would seek to manage increases in the costs of the program, and he said if left unchecked, TOPS would become to expensive to sustain.
"If we continue to go down the road we're going down today, I don't think my grandchildren will ever have the use of TOPS," Morrish said.
Morrish's bill would manage TOPS by adding a ten percent increase over this spring's tuition level, and it would also provide an escalation clause that would allow the legislature every two years to increase the award based on the consumer price index.
"It gives us a management tool that the legislature can look at and say, 'We don't have the revenue to do the CPI increase, or we do have the revenue, or we're going to find the revenue.' I think it's a good management tool," Morrish said.
If we continue to go down the road we're going down today, I don't think my grandchildren will ever have the use of TOPS.
"I think there are other areas where TOPS needs to be addressed, and I can only start with one at a time," he added.
Morrish said he filed ten years ago that would have made TOPS a loan for the first five semesters. If a recipient continued to qualify for the award during the fifth semester, it would become a grant, and if the recipient graduated, the entire loan would be forgiven.
"It's kind of a bureaucratic nightmare but not something that couldn't work," Morrish said.
To listen to the complete interview with Sen. Morrish, click on the 'Play' button below.