Democrats: Fee opt-out could drive up bus costs

Democrats on the Legislature’s finance committee are questioning provisions in Gov. Scott Walker’s budget that would allow students to opt out of some fees.

Walker’s budget would allow students to opt out of payng fees that support student activities and organizations. They would still have to pay fees that support university commitments and operational costs.

Sen. Lena Taylor, a Milwaukee Democrat, and Rep. Katrina Shankland, a Stevens Point Democrat, said during a Joint Finance Committee hearing on the UW System’s portion of the budget Thursday that allowing students to opt out of fees would hurt student organizations and could drive up the cost of bus passes. A number of campuses fund bus passes for students with student fees.

UW System President Ray Cross acknowledged the opt-out could affect bus passes.