- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 27, 2016

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Gov. Jay Nixon has signed a higher education budget that will result in a tuition freeze at public universities.

Nixon approved the $1.3 billion spending plan Wednesday without vetoing any individual items.

Public universities and colleges will see a $37 million boost to core funding. That amounts to a 4 percent increase.

University leaders have agreed to freeze tuition in exchange for the funding increase.

This marks the fourth year since Nixon took office that universities agreed to halt tuition hikes, following agreements in 2009, 2010 and 2014. Nixon said making college more affordable has been one his top priorities.

The budget bill also includes at least $7 million more for state scholarships.

The remainder of the $27 billion budget that will take effect in July still awaits Nixon’s approval.

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