Oregon House votes to give universities autonomy

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- The state House has voted to give Oregon's public universities more control over their own affairs.

Lawmakers voted 55-5 on Monday to approve the measure, which is endorsed by the Oregon University System. It would give public universities more control over their employee pay and benefits, the construction of new buildings and the fees charged to students.

It also would add three new members of the Board of Higher Education and create the Higher Education Coordinating Commission to develop goals and a plan to achieve them.

Approval in the House would send the measure to the Senate, which has already approved it but must sign off on changes made in the budget committee.