Legislature rejects a ‘tuition freeze’ bill


Staff And Wire Reports

South Dakota legislators rejected a bill Feb. 2 that would have frozen tuition for four years for students who attend state-supported universities in South Dakota.

Rep. Garry Moore, D-Yankton, offered HB1230. He said it could make the difference between being able to afford college or not for some young people.

“This is for the betterment of the children of the state of South Dakota,” Moore said.

The measure would have frozen tuition for four years if students remained in school continuously for that period, minus the summer months.

However, tuition could have been raised for each new freshman class.

Ryan Brunner, president of the South Dakota Student Federation, said the bill wouldn’t make college any cheaper. It would only serve to raise the price of a state university education at a different rate.

“It would all balance out over time,” he said. “As needs arose over a four-year period, that cost would just be passed off to the incoming freshmen.”

Tad Perry, executive director of the Board of Regents, testified against the measure. He told the House Education Committee that the state university system can’t afford to lose any tuition money.

“We’re not in a situation where we can give up revenue,” Perry said.

The bill was killed 13-1.