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Michelle Ugenti, Arizona State Representative, Defends Tuition Bill To Students: 'Welcome To Lif

• By Leigh Owens

An Arizona House committee passed a bill last week that would require every student at a public college in the state, regardless of economic status, to pay a minimum of $2,000 in tuition.

As Think Progress noted, nearly 100 Arizona students attended the committee hearing to speak out against the bill, HB 2675, expressing concern that it would make it more difficult for many students to afford college. Rep. Michelle Ugenti (R-Scottsdale) responded bluntly in favor of the new measure: "Welcome to life."

Rep. Matt Heinz (D-Tucson), who voted against the bill, criticized his Republican colleague for her remarks.

"I feel these students are being greeted with open hostility," he said.

As The Arizona Republic reported last week, the bill was sponsored by Rep. John Kavanagh (R-Fountain Hills) after hearing that nearly half of Arizona students did not pay tuition during the 2009-10 school year, whether through scholarships or need-based financial aid programs.