Regents push back over AG’s tuition-setting challenge

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Daily Star

Lawyers for the Board of Regents told a judge Friday that Attorney General Mark Brnovich has no legal right to challenge the tuition the board sets for the state’s three universities.

Students stroll on UA campus. Since 2008, student state aid has gone from $9,648 per student to $4,098, even before inflation is considered. /A.E. Araiza / Arizona Daily Star

An attorney for the regents, Joel Nomkin, pointed out the last such challenge came more than a decade ago when former lawmaker John Kromko and others sued after the regents’ decision to raise tuition by close to 30 percent. They argued — as Brnovich does now — that the board violated a constitutional provision that instruction be “as nearly free as possible.”

Nomkin reminded Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Connie Contes that the Attorney General’s Office defended the regents back then by arguing that such questions are beyond the reach of the courts.

The Arizona Supreme Court agreed, tossing out the claim.

“The only thing that’s changed since Kromko is that the attorney general has switched positions and is now suing his client,” Nomkin said.


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