- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 19, 2016

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - If the TOPS free college tuition program isn’t fully funded, Louisiana’s senators want every eligible student to at least get partial payment of tuition.

The Senate voted 35-0 Tuesday for a measure that would allow lawmakers to change the way cuts are divvied among TOPS students, if cuts are required.

TOPS will cost nearly $300 million next year to cover all eligible students, but the program is threatened with reductions amid state budget problems.

Under current law, if TOPS isn’t fully funded, only students with the highest ACT scores receive the tuition aid.

The bill by Jennings Sen. Dan “Blade” Morrish would allow across-the-board cuts, so all students could receive some tuition financing.

Gov. John Bel Edwards supports the proposal, which heads to the House.

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House Bill 470: www.legis.la.gov

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