Fla. Supreme Court hears tuition dispute for public universities

Dispute questions 2002 amendment to state constitution

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - The Florida Supreme Court is hearing oral argument in a dispute over whether the Board of Governors or the Legislature can set tuition rates at the state's 12 public universities.

The case going before the justices Thursday is the result of a lawsuit filed by former Gov. Bob Graham and others.

They contend a 2002 state constitutional amendment creating the board to oversee the universities includes tuition-setting power. Two lower courts disagreed, ruling that authority belongs to the Legislature.

The board at one point joined the lawsuit but withdrew after reaching a compromise with lawmakers.

They agreed the Legislature could raise tuition across-the-board while the board could approve additional increases for individual universities. The combined increases, though, cannot exceed 15 percent in a given year.

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.