Tuition hike likely because of steps taken by legislative Republicans and Governor Branstad

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“Another good reason to override Governor’s education vetoes”


The agenda for next week’s meeting of the Iowa Board of Regents includes a proposal to increase spring tuition for all undergraduate students by 3 percent.


Senator Jeff Danielson of Cedar Falls said the proposed tuition hike is only on the table because of steps taken during the 2015 session by legislative Republicans and Governor Branstad.


“Senate Democrats proposed a higher education budget that would have provided funding to freeze tuition for a third consecutive year at Iowa’s three public universities.  Senate File 493 was passed on a 26-24 vote with all Democrats in favor and all Republicans against.”


The Democratic proposal provided $4 million, an increase of 1.75 percent to the University of Iowa; $5.2 million, an increase of 2.9 percent to Iowa State University; and, $7 million, a 7.8 percent increase for the University of Northern Iowa.


Immediately after the legislation was approved on April 29, 2015, Regents Chairman Bruce Rastetter issued a statement saying it would guarantee a third consecutive tuition freeze.


Senator Danielson stated: “When Senate and House Republicans would not support our funding proposal to guarantee tuition freezes, we worked in a bipartisan manner to secure one-time funding in hopes they could maintain a tuition freeze for students.”


House File 666, the final compromise approved by the Iowa House and Senate, would have provided 1.25 percent increase in funding to Iowa’s public universities.  This funding was line-item vetoed by Governor Branstad on July 2, 2015. The following is how much each university would have received in one-time funding:

  • $2,886,538 to University of Iowa (Item-Vetoed)
  • $2,254,079 to Iowa State University (Item-Vetoed)
  • $1,114,709 to University of Northern Iowa (Item-Vetoed)


Keeping higher education affordable allows more Iowans to get the education and skills they need to find good jobs. It creates a positive cycle that helps our state attract even more businesses and jobs—the types that will strengthen Iowa’s middle class and grow our economy. It is critical to hold down the costs of college for Iowa’s working families.


“It is critical to hold down the costs of college for Iowa’s working families.   I have heard time and time again about the crushing student debt out there. We have to do everything we can to keep our best and brightest and not price them out of education,” said Danielson.  “Freezing tuition by controlling costs and increasing state investment is much better than asking struggling families to take out even more student loans.”


Danielson renewed his call for a special session of the Iowa Legislature to overturn the Governor’s vetoes of critical education funding.

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