ATLANTA (AP) - The Georgia Senate has passed a bill dramatically overhauling the cash-strapped HOPE scholarship program.
The bill is part of Gov. Nathan Deal's plan to keep lottery programs like HOPE and prekindergarten from going broke. It passed 35-20.
The bill would cut scholarships for all but the state's highest-scoring students. It also would eliminate payments for books, fees and remedial classes.
Awards would be set each year by the Legislature rather than being tied to tuition rates.
Democrats have said the bill is unfair to poor and minority students and the Lottery Corp. should give more money to education coffers before the awards are cut.
The measure now goes back to the state House to get approval for changes made in the Senate.