JFC rejects tech college tuition freeze, non-committal on WEDC b - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

JFC rejects tech college tuition freeze, non-committal on WEDC budget review

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Wisconsin technical college students will not see a tuition freeze next fall, after Republicans on the legislature's Joint Finance Committee voted to reject that proposal from Governor Scott Walker (R-Wisconsin) Wednesday.

The rejection of essentially came down to Republican legislators not wanting taxpayers to pick up costs the students themselves would otherwise be paying.

The governor wanted tech college tuition frozen at the current level for the next two school years.
UW System schools have been under a tuition freeze since 2013 and that is expected to continue through the spring 2019.
But Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette), JFC co-chair, said tech colleges are much more affordable - noting the committee did approve an additional $5 million for grants that would go to students in need.

"We're trying to meet the Governor's objective of affordability - but we also believe that it already is a pretty good bargain," said Rep. Nygren.

"There was a recommendation by different campuses to say they did not support the freeze either - as students," added Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), Nygren's co-chair.

Democrats on the JFC introduced a motion to provide free tuition at Wisconsin tech colleges, but Republicans defeated that measure.

Along with the tech college freeze, Governor Walker was also looking to cut tuition for UW System students.

The JFC will make its decision on that proposal next Tuesday.

On another matter, Rep. Nygren and Sen. Darling were reluctant to commit to reexamining the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation budget JFC approved last week.

Democrats and Republicans on the Joint Legislative Audit Committee encouraged JFC to take another look at the WEDC budget, after a state audit report released Wednesday showed the agency is still struggling to keep track of job creation data and recouping loan repayments.

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