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Brnovich wants Arizona Supreme Court to hear tuition case appeal

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich wants to take his legal battle against skyrocketing tuition rates to the state’s highest court.

Brnovich filed a petition Monday to have the appeal of his dismissed lawsuit against the Arizona Board of Regents, which governs the state’s three universities, transferred to the Arizona Supreme Court.

The lawsuit was initially filed in September 2017 and argued that tuition rates at Arizona State University, the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona University didn’t comply with a section of Arizona’s constitution that says state educational institutions “shall be as nearly free as possible.”

In April 2018, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge tossed the case, saying the attorney general had no legal authority to sue the board about tuition. Brnovich appealed the decision in October.

Monday’s petition argues that the case should be moved because it “involves a dispute over an important public policy at the highest levels of state government.”

It also says the Supreme Court “may be the only court where the attorney general currently has authority to bring these claims.”

The lawsuit notes that tuition at all three universities rose by more than 300 percent since 2002-03.

Over the same time, the consumer price index went up by only 40 percent and median family income in the state increased by 27 percent.

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