The Senate Higher Education Committee Friday approved an overhaul of the HOPE scholarship that will make cuts to the awards many Georgia college students receive.
The panel voted 5-2 along party lines, with Republicans supporting the measure, a top priority for Gov. Nathan Deal.
It now heads to the Senate Rules Committee which will determine when it comes to the Senate floor. The bill has cleared the House.
Under the Republicans' plan, the HOPE scholarship would cover 90 percent of college tuition.
But Senate Democrats say the GOP proposal would really only cover 80 percent because it’s based on last year’s tuition rates. And they said it will cover even less next year.
“They are rushing this bill through the Senate at breakneck speed and they are doing that because they don’t want a real analysis of the numbers,” said Atlanta Sen. Jason Carter, a Democrat.
Carter said his party’s plan would allow 95 percent of HOPE recipients to keep the full college scholarship.
The Democrats would limit the scholarship to students whose family income is under $140,000 this year.