Proposed legislation pre-filed in the South Carolina Senate would provide maintenance funding on state-owned college buildings.
The money is part of the Higher Education Opportunity Act, which was offered as a way for colleges to slow consistent tuition increases each year.
“(Colleges) raise money to build buildings because people will give money to build new buildings. But people don’t give money to fix the $2 million air conditioning unit.” Joint Education and Finance Study Committee co-chair Vincent Sheheen said.
Sheheen is the sponsor of the legislation after hearing from several different higher education groups and regulators in committee hearings this past year.
The funding to ease the tuition increases would partially come from newly-enforced sales taxes on internet transactions. “Of all the sectors of our budget only higher education continues to have a net cut of $200 million from ten years ago, Sheheen said. “In other words, they’re getting $200 million less than ten years ago, which, in part, drove this problem.”
The Higher Education Opportunity Act will be among the topics of discussion for state legislators when they reconvene next month. House leaders have also expressed interest in more consistent funding for colleges and universities.