Finance committee alters Taft proposal

Ryan Loew

The Ohio House of Representatives Finance Committee modified Gov. Bob Taft’s budget proposal yesterday, saying no to his recommended 9 percent tuition cap.

The committee’s changes came via a substitute bill, which will be voted on by the entire House either today or tomorrow, State Rep. Kathleen Chandler said. It will then move on to the Ohio Senate.

Taft’s original tuition proposal called for a 6 percent tuition cap with an additional 3 percent rise allowed if it’s used for financial aid.

But the committee’s substitute bill limits the annual increase of tuition to 6 percent, Chandler said, and she expects the entire House to approve the amended bill.

Pat Myers, director of government relations for Kent State, said the raised tuition caps are too much of a burden on students and families, and legislators have noticed.

“The majority of the House members want to keep tuition as low as possible,” Myers said. “I think they’ve heard pretty clearly that tuition is just too high.”

Changing Taft’s proposal can have an effect on students, but largely does not affect the university, said Vice President of Administration David Creamer.

“From the university’s perspective, it doesn’t change much,” he said, as the added 3 percent in Taft’s budget proposal does not come from state funds but from student money.

“That’s why there’s a debate here,” Creamer said. “It would be easy if it came from the state, but when you’re asking another student to pay for it, it becomes a more difficult debate.”

Taft’s budget proposal, which was introduced to the Ohio legislators in January, will move on to a conference committee after leaving the Senate. It will eventually be signed into law by Taft sometime in the summer.

Contact administration reporter Ryan Loew at [email protected].