- Associated Press - Thursday, April 27, 2017

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island’s Democratic governor has invited a Republican counterpart to help make the case for her plan to provide free tuition for two years at public colleges.

Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam talked with Rhode Island business leaders on a conference call Thursday.

Tennessee three years ago became the first state to make community college tuition-free for new high school graduates, and is considering an expansion to include older adults. Raimondo’s plan would go further, including not just community colleges but the last two years at four-year institutions. She says it’s a workforce development initiative.

New York just passed a more expansive law.

Raimondo’s proposal is endorsed by business groups but faces skepticism in the Democrat-controlled legislature. Top lawmakers have voiced concerns about the cost.

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This story has been corrected to show that Tennessee is considering an expansion to its free-tuition program to include older adults, but hasn’t yet adopted it.

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