Bill to fund Ala. tuition program passes 1st step

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - Legislation to shore up Alabama's financially ailing prepaid college tuition plan has passed the first step in the Legislature.

The Senate Finance and Taxation-General Fund Committee voted 10-2 Wednesday for a bill sponsored by state Sens. Roger Bedford and Jimmy Holley.

The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration.

The bill would turn over control of the tuition plan to the state teachers' retirement program and would use state funds to make sure the 48,000 participants receive all tuition payments.

Bedford called the bill "a vehicle" and said he expects changes when the Senate considers it.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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