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Nixon's tuition deal in jeopardy

file photo: UPI/Bill Greenblatt
file photo: UPI/Bill Greenblatt

By Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – Budget writers in the Missouri Senate want to reverse a deal Governor Jay Nixon made to freeze tuition at state-run colleges and universities.

Nixon's deal freezes tuition rates in exchange for limiting cuts to colleges and universities to $50 million next year. But the Senate Appropriations Committee is proposing a $65 million cut.

State Senator Jim Lembke (R, St. Louis County) sits on the committee.

"When we look at how do we get to cutting $500 million out of this budget, any deals that were made months ago without knowing what our revenue position was is in essence tying our hands behind our back," Lembke said.

Scott Holste is Governor Nixon's Press Secretary.

"The governor is going to strongly urge legislators to uphold what we believe is a very, very important agreement to freeze tuition here for the second year in a row," Holste said.

The Missouri House upheld the tuition deal when it voted on the state budget last month. Lawmakers have until May 7th to pass the budget.