Cost control for TOPS program headed to Jindal for decision

Graduation Cap, Diploma And Books

Governor Bobby Jindal will decide whether to place new spending restrictions on the TOPS free college tuition program.

With a 28-6 vote Wednesday, the Louisiana Senate gave final legislative passage to the bill.

The Republican governor opposed the cost-control measure, but his office hasn’t answered questions of whether Jindal will veto it.

A decision could be caught up in ongoing budget negotiations.

Under the bill, the TOPS payment rate would be locked in at the 2015-16 level. Rather than automatic increases whenever tuition costs rise, increases to TOPS payments in later years would need separate legislative approval.

Supporters say that will ensure Louisiana can continue to afford the program. Jindal objected because students and parents could have to pay more out of pocket for tuition.

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