By JULIE CARR SMYTH
AP Statehouse Correspondent
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Lawmakers in 10 states say they're launching a legislative push intended to make debt-free public college a priority of the 2016 election.
In a teleconference Monday, the group of Democrats announced plans to introduce resolutions in the early primary states of New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina, the political battleground state of Ohio and in Illinois, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Missouri, South Dakota and Hawaii.
The lawmakers said that with rising college debt near crisis levels in the U.S., they hope the measures jumpstart a national conversation on the topic and provide momentum to existing or future bills. They advocate more federal aid to states, more financial help for students and finding ways to creatively contain costs.
Reducing college costs has also been a priority of Ohio's Republican governor and state Legislature.