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State News

Appeals court sides with legislature in tuition case

By Lynn Hatter

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-989779.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – Florida's First District Court of Appeal has ruled that only the legislature has the power to set tuition. Lynn Hatter reports the ruling comes on a court case that dates back more than four years, when a former state official sued the legislature over tuition-setting authority.

In its ruling, a three-judge panel wrote that the 2002 constitutional amendment that created the Board of Governors, which oversees the state's public universities, "did not indicate or intimate, that the Board would have any authority" over tuition and fees.

In the original filing former U.S. Senator and State Governor Bob Graham, joined by former Florida State University President Sandy D'Alemberte, said the constitutional amendment that created the Board of Governors, also gave it the ability to set tuition. But a lower court rejected that argument.

The Board itself was once a part of the lawsuit but dropped its challenge after reaching a deal with the legislature last year to split tuition authority.