Washington State Looking to Change State Universities Tuition-Se - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Washington State Looking to Change State Universities Tuition-Setting Power

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The Washington House of Representatives has voted to take away tuition-setting power it previously gave to the state's universities.

Wednesday's unanimous vote sends to the Senate a bill that would reverse a 2011 law that gave institutions the power to set their own tuition rates. At the time, then-Gov. Chris Gregoire said allowing the universities to set tuition prices themselves would prevent the quality of education from eroding due to a lack of money.

But after subsequent tuition hikes meant 2013 state college tuition was nearly double the 2009 level, lawmakers in 2013 ordered universities to freeze the tuition level. The House bill now headed for the Senate would take effect this year. Without it, state universities' ability to set tuition would end in 2019.