Senate Passes UI Tuition Amendment

Boise, Idaho (AP) — The Senate voted 32-2 for a constitutional amendment to allow tuition at the University of Idaho, a move to help the Moscow school manage its budget.

A law from Idaho’s territorial days when the school was founded in 1889 forbids most UI students from paying tuition. Instead, Vandals pay “student fees.”

Since Idaho prevents student fees from paying for professors, however, UI is forbidden from shifting this money to shore up instructional costs crimped by austerity measures this year.

Boise State University and Idaho State University, which charge tuition, don’t have this problem.

Sen. Joe Stegner, a Lewiston Republican, says, “The UI cannot manage their total budget in the most efficient manner.”

If the amendment clears the House on a two-thirds vote, Idaho voters would likely weigh in come 2010.