Idaho voters will decide on tuition question

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June 11, 2010

BOISE, Idaho: Idaho will see four ballot measures in the fall, but there's one measure could effect higher education. The Idaho Tuition and Fees Amendment, also known as SJR 101, will appear on the November 2, 2010 ballot as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment.

The measure would repeal a ban enacted by a 1890 constitutional provision that bars tuition at the University of Idaho. If enacted by Idaho voters, the University of Idaho would cease charging "fees" that are approximately the equivalent to "tuition" that is implemented by other state schools. According to Senate Assistant Republican Leader Joe Stegner, who authored the constitutional amendment: "We've been doing this for 120 years. And everybody, with a wink-wink, nod-nod has been calling them 'fees.'"[1]

The fees that are imposed by the University of Idaho cannot be used for instructional purposes. Bart Davis, Senate GOP leader, stated about the fees: "It puts the (U of I) in a very difficult spot of having to do mathematical gymnastics."

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