Bill to put cost controls on TOPS scrapped by Gov. Jindal

Gov. Bobby Jindal has refused to place new spending restrictions on Louisiana’s TOPS free college tuition program.

The governor Friday vetoed the bill by Sen. Jack Donahue, a Mandeville Republican, that was aimed at providing more certainty for the state budget.

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

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

In his veto, Jindal said the legislation would violate a promise to students who meet the TOPS criteria.

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