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Kansas legislators' deal on budget includes 2-year freeze on tuition at state universities

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TOPEKA, Kansas — State universities in Kansas could not increase tuition for two years under a proposal drafted by legislators negotiating over budget issues.

Three senators and three House members reached agreement Wednesday on a proposed $15.5 billion spending plan for the fiscal year beginning July 1. Higher education spending was a major issue for the negotiators.

Their budget agreement largely adopts Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's proposals to keep spending on the higher education system relatively flat, despite a projected budget shortfall of nearly $600 million.

Negotiators agreed to avoid cuts in spending for the University of Kansas and Kansas State University but added a provision requiring universities to hold tuition at current levels through June 2017.

GOP negotiators said they're concerned about how tuition increases would affect students and their families.

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