AZ Board of Regents files motion to dismiss AG's lawsuit over university tuition

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The Arizona Board of Regents said Mark Brnovich doesn't have the authority to file a lawsuit over tuition. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The Arizona Board of Regents said Mark Brnovich doesn't have the authority to file a lawsuit over tuition. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

The panel that oversees three public universities and other colleges in Arizona wants a judge to drop the lawsuit that the Arizona attorney general brought against the board over providing in-state tuition to certain young people who came to the U.S. illegally.

The Arizona Board of Regents filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit on Thursday in Arizona Superior Court.

The board said in the court documents that Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich doesn't have the authority to file the lawsuit, saying his office "only has the power to file when the Legislature provides a specific grant of statutory power to do so."

[RELATED: Top education official backing university tuition lawsuit]

In the lawsuit that Brnovich filed in September, he claims the Arizona Board of Regents is violating the state Constitution by allowing in-state tuition to the immigrants and alleges that the board has been illegally raising tuition over the past decade for all students. He said in-state tuition and mandatory fees went up "315 to 370 percent."

[EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich discusses his lawsuit with Dennis Welch]

"I think what you have is a bunch of ivory tower eggheads that make these decisions and don't  realize the impact that it has on every hardworking Arizona taxpayer," Brnovich said in September.

[READ MORE: Arizona AG sues Board of Regents over university tuition, called them 'eggheads']

Following Thursday's filing to dismiss the lawsuit, the Board of Regents sent out a statement defending the cost of higher education.

"Today, our universities have record enrollment and diversity, with the addition of 48,000 students since the recession – a testament to the quality and competitive pricing of Arizona’s public universities," the board said.

The board also brought up funding challenges and said the lawsuit shined a light on the funding challenges of Arizona's universities and colleges.

However, the board called the lawsuit costly, which taxpayers will pay for, and added it's "not the answer to addressing funding challenges for public higher education."

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