FORT KENT, Maine — The University of Maine System is seeking a 12 percent increase in state funding over the next three years.

Spokesman Dan Demeritt says the funding increase requests are linked to the pace of inflation.

Those increases include an extra $7.2 million in the 2017 appropriation, the result of an agreement made with Gov. Paul LePage last spring. That was in exchange for continuing a tuition freeze, which has been in place for in-state students for five years.

The Portland Press Herald ( ) reports that Chancellor James Page told trustees Monday that “it is time to invest” after a period of austerity. If approved, the total state appropriation to the system would increase from $200.6 million in 2016 to $229.1 million in 2019.