By Patricia Alex. Staff Writers. The Record.

The potentially costly reorganization of some of the state’s largest public universities would be pushed back to July 1, 2013, under changes hammered out by lawmakers on Monday.

The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Newark.
But cost estimates remained vague, even as lawmakers fast-track the bill that would set the plan in motion and could trigger significant tuition hikes at the public schools involved.

“I do not want to finance this transaction on the backs of Rutgers students and their families,” said Candace Straight, who sits on the finance committee of the university’s board of trustees. “Uncertainties in this transaction have a very real cost.”

No state money has been allocated for the plan. The costs would be borne by the schools, where revenue comes from tuition.

Lawmakers have been clamoring for an overall price tag for months but, even without one, Senate Budget Chairman Paul Sarlo, D-Wood-Ridge, said Monday that the bill likely will make it out of his committee as lawmakers speed toward a July 1 deadline imposed by Governor Christie for its passage. A vote is scheduled by the full Senate on Thursday.


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