Legislative committee argues over UW tuition surplus

CREATED Apr 23, 2013 - UPDATED: Apr 23, 2013

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Republican legislators are giving University of Wisconsin System officials a tongue-lashing over a report that shows the system has squirreled away a massive tuition surplus while raising students' rates for years.

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau released a report Friday that showed the system had a $648 million surplus as of the end of June, including $414. 1 million in tuition.

Republicans on the Legislature's employment relations committee told system President Kevin Reilly during a hearing Tuesday they're shocked. Sen. Alberta Darling of River Hills accused Reilly and system officials of scheming to hide the surpluses from the public. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos of Burlington said the entire state is outraged at the system.

Reilly responded the surpluses serve as a safety net as state aid for the system dwindles.