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Thompson says GOP told him no tuition increase



FILE - In this March 18, 2016 photo, former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson addresses the crowd at a town hall meeting at the River Steel plant in West Salem, Wis. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — University of Wisconsin System President Tommy Thompson says Republican legislative leaders warned him not to include any tuition increases in the system’s budget request or the spending plan would go nowhere.

Thompson spoke Monday at a panel discussion hosted by the Wisconsin Policy Forum. The panel focused on lagging state support for the system.

Thompson was asked whether it was time to consider ending an eight-year freeze on in-state undergraduate tuition. He said Republicans told him if he asked for a tuition increase the system’s budget wouldn’t go anywhere.

Thompson wants a nearly $100 million boost in state aid in the 2021-23 state budget but hasn’t asked to lift the tuition freeze.

“I cannot afford to come back out of this budget without winning,” said Thompson. “And if I have been told that if I come in this way, I’m going to lose, I’ve got to take that into consideration. So, right now, I think the tuition increase is going to be a battle for another day.”

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