We last reported to you that Gov. Kasich had signed HB 49, the biennial budget bill. The governor has the ability to line-item veto pieces of the budget bill. It was widely expected that he would veto the “Medicaid freeze,” which he did, but it was not expected that he would veto any pieces related to higher education.
However, as more information trickled out, we discovered that Kasich vetoed two higher education provisions regarding tuition increases.
First, he vetoed the $10/credit hour increase that community colleges would have been allowed to implement for the 2017-18 academic year. Community colleges can implement that increase for 2018-19, though.
Moreover, Kasich vetoed the provision that would have allowed universities to increase tuition by 8%, if they offer a four-year tuition guarantee. Universities still have the ability to increase tuition by 6%, if they offer a tuition guarantee, which amounts to roughly 1.5% increases each year.
The Ohio House of Representatives returned to Columbus on Thursday, July 6 to override 11 of Kasich’s vetoes, but decided not to override the vetoes of the aforementioned tuition provisions.
Our community colleges and universities will continue to be squeezed by lack of state support and the inability to raise tuition. While we believe that institutions need to show greater restraint in regards to administrative spending, athletic expenditures, and grandiose construction projects, students are short-changed by the state’s refusal to invest in their education.
The Ohio Conference will continue to advocate for the need for greater funding to our higher education system, as well as necessary reforms at the state and institutional levels. We put much of this forward in our latest Ohio Higher Education Report: Education First.