BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — House lawmakers balked at a proposal that would have let public colleges set their own tuition rates.

The bill by Rep. Thomas Carmody, a Shreveport Republican, would have ended the need for legislative approval for tuition hikes. To stop the increases from hitting the state budget, the bill would have kept the TOPS free college tuition program from covering the additional costs.

Supporters said the measure would help campuses hit with repeated budget cuts and threatened with more. Opponents raised concerns about the impact on students and families.

Only 45 lawmakers in the 105-member House voted for Carmody's bill. It needed 53 votes to pass.

That won't necessarily end the tuition discussion. A similar tuition authority bill backed by the Senate awaits House committee debate.

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