The North Carolina Senate has passed on first reading its version of the budget by a vote of 33-15. Included in the budget is a plan sponsored by Hendersonville Republican Senator Tom Apodaca to cap tuition to $500 per semester at select universities, including Western Carolina University. WCU was originally among 5 schools, 3 of them historically black colleges and universities that would be affected. But after an outcry from HBCU alumni, the 3 HBCUs were removed from the plan, leaving only WCU and UNC Pembroke. That amendment passed overwhelmingly. I spoke with Western Carolina Professor of Psychology and Chair of the Faculty Senate Dr. David McCord about the plan. That conversation can be heard by clicking the above audio file.