TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida legislators may get rid of automatic tuition increases that universities are supposed to charge.

A Senate panel on Tuesday approved a bill that would repeal a law that requires tuition rates to go up automatically each year by the rate of inflation if state legislators don't raise rates.

Last year, universities raised tuition by 1.7 percent, even though Gov. Rick Scott had vetoed a 3 percent tuition hike included in the state budget. The Scott administration argued unsuccessfully that universities were not required to impose the automatic hike.

Emails obtained by The Associated Press showed an intense behind-the-scenes lobbying effort between the governor's office and the Legislature over the $10.5 million tuition hike.

This year, legislative leaders say they plan to support Scott's efforts to keep tuition rates flat.