By Rebecca Blatt
Maryland may cut back on a key perk for state university system employees to help solve its budget crunch.
Right now approximately 21,000 university system employees and their dependents are entitled to free tuition. But House GOP Leader Anthony O'Donnell is offering a proposal that would require workers to pay 50 percent. His office says that would save the state nearly $7 million a year.
With an estimated $2 billion state budget deficit, O'Donnell says Maryland can't afford the perk. But the University system's chief lobbyist, P. J. Hogan, says the move would put schools at a disadvantage for recruiting and retaining staff as other area colleges continue to offer free tuition.
The chairman of the house appropriations committee says Democrats are considering the proposal.