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The state budget will freeze tuition rates for the state's two university systems if voters approve tax hikes in November, University of California student groups said this evening.

Charlie Eaton, a leader with the UC student workers' union, said Capitol officials told him that the budget bills will add $120 million each for the UC and California State University systems to avoid tuition hikes. But that is contingent on voter passage of Gov. Jerry Brown's tax hikes in November, he said.

The tuition freeze announcement could not be immediately confirmed by Capitol officials.

Lawmakers have yet to make budget language publicly available. Legislative floor votes have been delayed one day to Wednesday because drafting of bills is taking longer than Senate leaders predicted, according to sources who were not authorized to speak publicly.

UC regents last month examined the possibility of raising tuition 6 percent in 2012-13 if they did not receive additional funding in the state budget. CSU trustees have already agreed to hike tuition by 9 percent in 2012-13.

"I think this shows that students have changed the conversation this year about who should be paying to re-fund education," Eaton said. "It's a great step we're freezing tuition this year but the next step is to figure out how do we roll back tuition."

The UC Students Association made the announcement on its Facebook page this evening: "UCSA just got the word that Speaker Perez was able to secure a tuition freeze for UC and CSU in the budget deal funded by an additional $120 million for each segment. HUGE. This means NO TUITION INCREASE in 2012-2013. This was a top priority for students and students helped make it happen."



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