AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage says he’ll include about $8 million in additional funding in the budget for the University of Maine System if the board agrees to a tuition freeze.

The Portland Press Herald reports that the money would offset the need for a tuition increase and provide funds for specific programs, including early college initiatives and scholarships for adult learners.

LePage in a March 4 letter to the board of trustees said he would put the additional money in his supplemental budget to the Legislature if the board agrees to extend the tuition freeze for an additional academic year.

The system is facing a $9.5 million gap for its proposed $521 million budget.

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