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Walker Hopeful Legislature Will Resurrect Technical College Tuition Freeze

Walker's Statement Comes Day After JFC Rejects Walker's Plan

Scott Walker
Charlie Neibergall/AP Photo

During a press conference in Chippewa Falls, Gov. Scott Walker said he hopes the Legislature resurrects his plan to freeze tuition at Wisconsin’s technical colleges.

Walker’s two-year proposed budget included a $5 million per year spending increase for technical colleges to make up for lost tuition. The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee voted to use half that amount on higher education grants instead.

Speaking at a groundbreaking ceremony Friday morning in Chippewa Falls for a $60 million Mills Fleet Farm distribution center, Walker said he’s looking to lawmakers overturning the JFC’s decision.

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“I hope when it gets to the full Legislature they’ll give it another look, because I want to make it affordable for everyone to have access to great education, and for a lot of folks that’s going to include higher education as well,” Walker said.

Rep. John Nygren, R-Marinette, who co-chairs the JFC, said Walker’s tuition freeze would lead to more state subsidies for technical colleges at time when their costs are already low.

State Democrats proposed making tuition free at Wisconsin technical colleges. That idea died in a party line vote this week.

At the same stop Friday, Walker refused to comment on the controversy surrounding Donald Trump’s presidency. The governor said he’s staying out of the discussions surrounding the investigations into Russian election tampering and possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

“I try to focus on the things that affect citizens here in the state, so I don’t get involved with Russia or the FBI or other things out there. I’ll leave that to some of our federal representatives,” Walker said.

Walker chairs the Republican Governor’s Association. He said he’s been pleased with steps the Trump administration has taken on manufacturing, agriculture and trade disagreements with Canada.