- Associated Press - Monday, April 20, 2015

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The Minnesota Senate has passed its plan for higher education spending.

The $3.1 billion proposal would help fund tuition freezes at both state college systems and offer free community college to qualified high school graduates. But the Senate Democrats’ budget costs about $150 million more than House Republicans say they’re willing to spend.

The bill passed 42-21 Monday, with many Republicans voting against it.

Republicans who control the House didn’t extend the tuition freeze to four-year public universities. They aren’t planning to offer free community college and also plan to curtail a grant program for low- and middle-income students.

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton’s higher education budget proposal is closer to the Senate’s. All three parties will hash out a final spending plan in the coming weeks.

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