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Sep 22, 2014 12:00 AM

Lawmakers wary of NH university budget proposal

CONCORD (AP) – While some New Hampshire lawmakers like the idea freezing in-state tuition at public colleges for another two years, they aren’t ready to increase funding for the university system by 34 percent. After years of significant increases, resident tuition at University System of New Hampshire schools was frozen at the 2012-13 rates for the last academic year and the one that started this month. The system’s board of trustees is now proposing extending that freeze for two more years if the Legislature agrees to its budget request of $205 million over two years. That is $52 million more than the system got in the last biennium, but level with what the system received in 2009. The Legislature had cut university system funding nearly in half in its two-year budget in 2011, then restored much of the funding last year, allowing the initial tuition freeze. “We are grateful for the support of the state Legislature that allowed us to implement the first two-year in-state tuition freeze and we are eager to continue that partnership for a total of four years,” said Pamela Diamantis, chair of the USNH board of trustees. “It is critical for the future of our state and its continued economic growth that we strengthen our strong commitment to making public higher education more affordable for the more than 20,000 New Hampshire students who will help us meet the state’s work force demands.” Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, a Wolfeboro Republican, said extending the freeze would provide students and parents some financial relief but said he would not return to the “reckless budgets” of previous years.


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