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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine lawmakers will hear from the members of the public on bills designed to make college more affordable.

The Education and Cultural Affairs Committee will hold a public hearing on a bill Wednesday from Assistant Senate Republican Leader Roger Katz that directs Maine schools to study a pilot program being developed in Oregon that makes college tuition free for students who agree to pay back the state after they graduate and get a job.

Among those expected to testify in favor of the bill is independent candidate for governor Eliot Cutler.

Another bill the committee will take up Wednesday would have the state develop a strategy for reducing higher education costs. Under the bill sponsored by Senate President Justin Alfond, the state would examine the Oregon model and others.

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