SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Democratic legislative leaders returning to the state Capitol are taking aim at tuition hikes approved by the University of California.

Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins on Monday called for implementing so-called zero-based budgeting for the state, starting with the UC. That process requires agencies to justify each line item instead of working automatically from their previous year’s spending plan.

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She says that while higher education needs more funding, tuition increases are not the way to do it.

Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon also opposed the UC tuition hikes over each of the next five years. They will increase student costs 28 percent by fall 2019.

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De Leon said he plans to release a broad higher education plan Tuesday with a focus on improving accessibility, affordability and on-time graduation rates.

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