Charleston -- One of the state's most powerful legislators has threatened budgetary consequences for public universities that raised tuition more than 7.3 percent for the 2010-2011 school year.

That includes the College of Charleston, which raised tuition 14.8 percent; The Citadel, which approved a 13 percent jump; and Clemson University, with a 7.5 percent increase. The schools have the largest percentage increases among the state's public four-year institutions.

Sen. Hugh Leatherman, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, in a June 11 letter to leaders at all of the state's two- and four-year colleges and universities asked those that raised tuition more than 7.3 percent to reconsider immediately. If they don't, the letter stated, "I will vigorously pursue appropriate action during the next budget cycle on behalf of in-state students and their families harmed by such decisions."

The Florence Republican also stated that for schools that don't comply, he would have "no option but to plan for targeted appropriations, targeted tuition caps, as well as reasonable caps on out-of-state student enrollment."

Read more in tomorrow's Post and Courier.