Monday, January 14, 2008

Tuition Battle Looms

The Baltimore Sun reports:

Gov. Martin O'Malley vowed Monday to freeze tuition at most of Maryland's public colleges for a third consecutive year, but he acknowledged a likely fight over the issue with legislative leaders who have said tuition should be increased.

Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller has said tuition should be increased to offset necessary budget cuts, and House Speaker Michael E. Busch Monday said he supports a tuition increase of no more than 3 percent.

"Senate President Miller and I have a disagreement," O'Malley, a Democrat, said Monday at a news conference at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

He said Busch's 3 percent limit "articulates a pretty good goal for the future, but for the present, I'm going to do everything I can to fight for at least another year of zero percent increases in college tuitions." The governor proposes to pay for the in-state tuition freeze with about $16 million in revenue expected to be generated by the in crease from 7 percent to 8 percent in the corporate income tax passed during November's special legislative session.
After the tuition hikes of the Ehrlich era, keeping tuition down is a worthy goal. Of course, I imagine finding the $55 million needed to freeze tuition isn't easy in the current budget climate.