Legislators from both parties are applauding the decision the Board of Regents made today to rescind a $100 surcharge for students at the University of Iowa, Iowa State University and the University of Northern Iowa. There’s a caveat, however.
The nine-member board indicated the surcharge would be refunded only if legislators forward another $31-million to the universities for the current budgeting year. Senate Democratic Leader Mike Gronstal of Council Bluffs says it’s “highly likely” legislators will vote to send that money to the universities.
“We appreciate the Regents concern about access to higher education in this state,” Gronstal says. But House Republican Leader Kraig Paulsen of Hiawatha says the surcharge should be immediately refunded to university students, regardless of whether legislators provide the universities with more operating money.
Paulsen, for one, isn’t prepared to give the schools anything more. “My expectation would be no,” Paulsen says. “I mean, it’s simply more spending.” Paulsen is a product of the state university system, getting his undergrad degree from I.S.U. and his law degree from the U-of-I. Gronstal is a graduate of Antioch College in Ohio.