Senate GOP Kills College Tuition Cap Bill

Student life.

Student life.

Via AP and the Fort Collins Coloradoan, a priority from Gov. John Hickenlooper's State of the State address dies at the hands of the GOP-controlled Senate Education Committee:

The Senate Education Committee considered a Democratic bill to extend the current 6 percent hike cap indefinitely. The proposal was part of the Democrats' broader agenda this year to rein in costs for the middle class.

For some students at Colorado State University on Thursday, the proposal sounded like a sound idea.

"Making sure (tuition hikes aren't) ludicrous, like a 20 percent jump? I'm for that," junior health and exercise science major Philip Ephraim said.

The 2011-12 school year saw a 20 percent jump for in-state students over the previous year. Tuition had increased by 9 percent annually for the years before and after that year, according to CSU. The Legislature passed the tuition cap last year, but it was not permanent…

Laura Waters Woods.

Laura Waters Woods.

Of course, the 6% tuition cap bill that died yesterday was only "permanent" for as long as the General Assembly wanted it to be. Any such statute can be changed at any time. But in Hickenlooper's State of the State address, he called for tuition at Colorado state schools to increase by no more than 6%, in an effort to control the growth in the cost of higher education. Which, if you haven't heard, has been a big problem in recent years (see above).

But by fewer than 700 votes in suburban Arvada, Republicans are in charge of the Colorado Senate. Sen. Laura Waters Woods and her hard-right colleagues on the Senate Education Committee are expected to be a major roadblock on education issues for the next two years, and yesterday's action lived up to the predictions.

On Thursday, Education Committee members agreed that Colorado has done a poor job of funding higher education, but the GOP-controlled board voted 5-4 on party lines to reject the measure.

Republicans on the committee pointed out that even the 6 percent cap could mean tuition would double in a couple of decades. They called the cap an arbitrary limit on the institutions and an example of "micromanaging" the schools…

It's called gridlock, folks, and it's what's on tap in the Colorado Senate through 2016. The only thing we can tell you, and the student body of Colorado State University, is everybody had better get used to it.

And elections matter. We'll say that again too.

7 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Diogenesdemar says:

    First the government caps tuition increases for students, and next thing you know they'll want to try to restrict your access to semi-automatic howitzers, cluster bombs, and atomic weapons . . . 

    . . . it's called a slippery slope, libs!  Wake the fuck up!!! . . . 

  2. If we limit tuition increases to 6%, how will we pay for all those positions at Colorado Mesa University?

  3. DawnPatrol says:

    To any Coloradans who voted these despicable, slimy GOP assholes, and to all who sat on their thumbs pissing and moaning that "all politicians are crooks," or who decided they were "just too busy," I say:

    SUCK. IT.

    May the most punishing aspects of all the vile, contemptible things the CO GOP is about to unleash on our state fall first. foremost and most painfully upon YOUR homes. YOUR jobs, YOUR futures, YOUR retirements, and YOUR loved ones (except for your very young children, who shouldn't be made to pay for your sorry, ignorant, selfish and/or lazy asses).

  4. Tom says:

    It's weird that tuition caps used to be a conservative method of handling higher ed affordability that was opposed to raising financial aid. During the Owens years, there was a much stricter cap on tuition increases since schools didn't routinely receive waivers. Of course, without state funding, schools proceeded to screw students directly through fees and privatized services that weren't capped or subsidized.

    It's a whole new landscape now that conservatives find themselves cashing in on universities and aren't routinely trying to clear out those liberal hotbeds. 

  5. Zappatero says:

    As R's lost most of the "social war" issues these last several years, a new political strategy came to them almost by accident druing the budget fights of the Obama years: forcing sequential crises on a given subject while agitating their base on one or more related issues.  

    That is what they are doing here. They've done it on the budget at the national level, and now have Social Security in their sights. We should also be aware of the obvious, though maybe not explicit, coordination of actions on similar issues at the local and national levels. 

    They are breaking our democracy one bone at a time.

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