AZ State Rep. Michelle Ugenti on Tuition Increase: "Welcome to Life"

| by Michael Allen

Last week, an Arizona House Committee approved a bill requiring even the poorest students to pay a minimum of $2,000 per year to attend public university in the state.

Arizona Republicans introduced, HB 2675, after hearing that nearly half of students at Arizona State University did not pay tuition in the 2009-10 school year, due to financial aid need or scholarships.

However, Christine Thompson, the regents’ Vice President of Government Relations said "The most current figure is closer to 25 percent."

The Arizona Republic reports:

About 100 students signed in to oppose the bill, and a handful spoke out against it. James Allen, UA student-body president, told legislators that by passing the bill, legislators would make it harder to achieve a higher-education degree.

Rep. Michelle Ugenti, R-Scottsdale, replied, “Welcome to life.”

A few minutes later, Rep. Matt Heinz, D-Tucson, admonished his colleagues for their comments.

 “I feel these students are being greeted with open hostility,” said Heinz, who later voted against the bill.

Despite the students’ protest, the House Appropriations Committee passed the bill on Wednesday, 7-6.