TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -

Gov. Rick Scott is strongly warning universities that he will fight against any tuition hikes this year.

Scott made the warning in a letter sent out Friday to the heads of the boards that oversee the state's 12 public universities. He urged university boards to join him in a "worthy battle" to keep tuition rates flat.

The letter could be a prelude to a legal challenge. The governor on Monday vetoed a 3 percent hike included in this year's budget.

But tuition could still go up. University boards have the power to raise tuition.

A separate law states tuition goes up automatically by the rate of inflation if there is no increase in the budget. That law, however, is silent on what happens if the governor vetoes the hike.