NEW INFORMATION: Republicans, Democrats demand UW tuition freeze

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Democrats are joining their rival Republicans' call for University of Wisconsin System officials to freeze tuition.

A Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo released last week shows the system finished the 2012 fiscal year with nearly $650 million in reserves, including $414 million in surplus tuition dollars. Republicans are questioning how the Board of Regents could justify raising tuition for six straight years in light of the massive reserves.

Republicans have vowed to freeze tuition in the upcoming state budget. Democratic legislative leaders, typically among the system's staunchest supports, drafted a letter to system President Kevin Reilly and the board Wednesday calling the surplus unjustifiable and asking the regents to freeze tuition for two years.

A system spokesman says it's difficult to comment because the budget is still in flux.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Gov. Scott Walker plans to ask the Legislature to freeze tuition at the University of Wisconsin in light of reports that UW has $650 million in reserves.

Walker spokesman Tom Evenson said Wednesday the call for a tuition freeze and possibly other changes will be submitted to lawmakers in a week to 10 days.

The university has been the target of blistering criticism, primarily from Republican lawmakers, following the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo released Friday that detailed the reserve funds.

UW President Kevin Reilly defended the university during a hearing Tuesday before legislative leaders, saying the reserves were built up to protect themselves as state funding dwindles. He also acknowledged that anger over the accumulated money was, in many ways, justified.

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