Minnesota passes budget bill that includes free college tuition

, Spencer Irvine, Leave a comment

If you live in the state of Minnesota, free college tuition is coming your way.

The Minnesota state legislature passed, in both chambers, a bill that allows students of families making less than $80,000 a year in annual income to go to a state-funded college or university for free. The bill freezes tuition in the state higher education system for two years and will try hold down future tuition increases at the University of Minnesota. But the university will have final say, not the legislature, as it operates autonomously on the tuition issue.

It is estimated to cover about 15,000 students.

Democratic Senator Omar Fateh said, “We’re making a promise to them that if they work hard that we’re going to cover your tuition.”

Republican Representative Peggy Scott said, during a debate, that the bill is a “move toward socialism” and it is “irresponsible.”

The bill is estimated to spend $4.16 billion in the next two years, which is an increase of $640 million compared to the current budget.

As expected, the bill passed along party lines because the Democratic Party controls the majority in both chambers. It squeaked by in the state’s Senate by a 34-30 vote.

Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) reported the news.