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Friday, March 4, 2011 - 7:30am

HOPE Bill Clears Higher Ed. Panel

The Senate Higher Education Committee has approved an overhaul of the HOPE scholarship that will make cuts to the awards many Georgia college students receive.

The panel voted 5-2 on Friday along party lines. Republicans supported the measure, a top priority for Gov. Nathan Deal. Democrats on the committee opposed it, complaining they were not allowed to offer amendments.

Senate Higher Education Committee Chairman Jim Butterworth noted there had been technical amendments and said he was comfortable pushing the measure through.

It now heads to the Senate Rules Committee which will determine when it comes to the Senate floor. The bill has cleared the House.

The plan would scale back HOPE scholarships to 90 percent for nearly all students.

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