By Progress Staff

Last week state lawmakers approved funding for the Council on Postsecondary Education’s legal defense for a suit in which the CPE and governor have been named. Eastern Board of Regents Chair Fred Rice filed suit March 14 for legislation passed essentially removing Rice from his position.Under the new law, board of regents members must reside within the 50 United States — Rice lives in the Virgin Islands. Rice feels the law is unconstitutional and should only affect regents who move their residences after the legislation date.

The Legislature’s Government Contract Committee approved the contract between the CPE and Mark Guilfoyle, the CPE’s counsel last Tuesday. It calls for Guilfoyle to be paid $125 (with a maximum of $9,000) for his work in the suit.

The judge overseeing Rice’s suit issued a temporary restraining order preventing the CPE and governor from taking any action to remove Rice from his position until the parties reach an agreement. Rice’s attorneys expect the parties to agree the legislation should be applied “prospectively” and essentially allow Rice to stay on the Board. That decision is expected before the Board meeting next week.