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Posted on Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 2:10 p.m.

Democrats announce ambitious plan to help Michigan students pay for college

By Ryan J. Stanton

State Sen. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, and other Democrats today unveiled the Michigan 2020 Plan, an effort to help students with the rising cost of college.

Under the plan, Michigan high school graduates would be eligible to have tuition and associated costs paid for at one of Michigan's community colleges or universities.

Students would be eligible for an annual grant for their higher education costs based on the length of time they spent in Michigan's K-12 system. Those who spent their entire K-12 career in Michigan schools would be eligible for the full award, equating to the median tuition level — currently $9,575 per year — of all of Michigan's public universities.

Those who attended school outside of Michigan for a period of time during their K-12 years would be eligible for a percentage of the full amount.


Rebekah Warren

Warren and other Democrats say passage of the proposal would mark a significant investment in Michigan's future by positioning the state as a leader in higher education and work force development. The goal is to make it so Michigan has the most educated work force in the nation.

"After years of poor decision-making in Lansing and what can only be described as systematic public disinvestment, Michigan now ranks 42nd in the nation in per-capita spending on higher education," Warren said in a statement.

"And the bottom line is that when the state allocates fewer dollars to public universities and colleges, our students and parents pay more," she added.

In today's ever-changing global economy, obtaining a higher education is increasingly important, Warren said, but Michigan is quickly on the road to pricing out most students across the state. She said the Michigan 2020 Plan represents a complete shift in philosophy and ensures that all students in Michigan have access to an affordable education.

According to a news release announcing the plan, the program would be funded entirely by eliminating "ineffective tax loopholes that are carved out by special interest lobbyists, as well as cutting costs within the thousands of contracts that the state currently administers."

"Michigan currently grants $34 billion in tax credits with little transparency or accountability that ensures they are effective in growing our economy or job market," the release states, adding that $3.5 billion in tax credits and loopholes would be cut under the plan.

Full details of the plan are available at

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.



Sun, Jan 15, 2012 : 11:38 p.m.

It seems like a fine idea, but what about those of us who saved money for our kids education. And then when it still was not enough, we used all of our retirement money and remortgaged our houses to send our kids to college. And now, when our kids are finally out of school and working, we will have to pay for another child's education because their parents forgot to save.


Sat, Jan 14, 2012 : 12:22 p.m.

If this program included price controls for University tuition and fees, I might support it. If those controls are not in place, this program will just give Universities yet another reason to raise tuition at a rate that is above the rate of inflation.

Stuart Brown

Sat, Jan 14, 2012 : 8:20 a.m.

We should spend less on the prison industrial complex and more on public education at all levels. However, that said, giving more money to the state's 15 public universities without any cost controls is just plain foolish. If students are given more money to defray tuition, guess what? The universities will respond by raising tuition and fees faster to scoop up the money. No, we need to focus on affordability (for example, the annual cost of tuition divided by median household income.) If universities raise tuition and fees or cut services to students beyond certain thresholds, their state appropriation should be cut back and the savings rebated through the Michigan income tax form to families sending people to school.

Stuart Brown

Sat, Jan 14, 2012 : 7:24 p.m.

DonBee, I like it. If it were up to me, I'd replace the idea of punishment and retribution with "Clean up your mess!" Punishing people leaves the offender in a passive role and the victim with no compensation.


Sat, Jan 14, 2012 : 3:14 p.m.

DonBee - It's probably a stupid idea, but why don't we make educational attainment a part of a prisoner's sentence and a condition of release?


Sat, Jan 14, 2012 : 2:42 p.m.

Mr. Brown - If you look at what the Governor has proposed for changes to sentences, we would see an additional drop in prison population. Several prisons are already closed in Michigan, more probably will close. But, those former inmates need jobs, or they will end up back in prison.


Sat, Jan 14, 2012 : 3:14 a.m.

Unless the universities control spending all this will do is give the universities permission to let tuition rise even faster. UM administrators chose this year to increase out of state tuition less than in state tuition and the reason they gave was that out of state tuition was so high that UM was pricing itself out of the market. This will not change until you start electing real budget hawks to the Board of Regents rather than party political hacks who want to join the country club that is the Board. ELECT NEW REGENTS


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 3:48 p.m.

The trade off here is the money is already being spent by the state for tax breaks for well funded lobbies, why not shift it to education. More education generally equals more income, also makes the state more attractive. We all want this money to be used responsibly and not a windfall for colleges to increase tuition and I'm sure rules can be put in place. This seems like a great win for Michigan and would attract younger couples to this state.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 7:39 p.m.

Not true Bob. Sorry most of the funding mechanisms in the report that is referenced have serious problems. Many of the loopholes were closed with the new corporate tax and most of the rest got a sunset provision. The contract issues need changes in Federal regulations and laws, as does the internet sales tax. In short there is "no there there" on the funding side. It is pure fantasy.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 2:48 p.m.

The reason that college costs keep rising is the same reason that medical costs keep rising - because the consumer of the service is not paying for them. The precipitous rise is college costs matches the rise in tuition assistance. Tis program, if enacted, will ensure only one outcome - that Michigan college costs will rise faster.


Sat, Jan 14, 2012 : 3:51 a.m.

One of the reason medical costs are rising is because the technology (and its corresponding research) has so vastly expanded in the last 20 years. To support this expansion, costs have risen. Education doesn't have the same excuse.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 8:03 p.m.

Just who is paying for them then? Last time I checked, most people had to pay their own way and are in massive debt because of it. To suggest that the costs are simply because users are not paying for the product is laughable - it implies that students have a mechanism to reduce those costs. I would call that a failure of logic.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 2:29 p.m.

I would like to ad as a taxpayer. I DO NOT WANT TO PAY FOR YOUR CHILDRENS COLLEGE DEGREE!!!!!! WE are seniors and still paying on our taxes for the colleges around here in Ann Arbor. Do like we did with our children and there college costs. Our kids worked a job, lived at home, and we helped with cost of classes. I am sick and tired of you Democrats handing out social programs for everyone and there brother. What is wrong with them working and taking responsibility for there lives not on the backs of us. Give us a break and stop coming up with ideas to take more money from us. I want to start a revolt that a senior does not have to pay any taxes for colleges after the age of 60!!! Also the U Of M will just raise tuition costs to offset the new taxes.


Thu, Jan 19, 2012 : 10:13 p.m.

Jack- My example of the environment and medicare and SS were a little something called HYPERBOLE, Jack. They are not "really realistic or accurate" as I DIRECTLY stated. Though I could go into the conscious ways I choose to subtract my impact on the enviroment, I don't think it's germane to this thread AT ALL, since that was not the point of my comment. the POINT of my comment is that a "bootstraps" mentality when it comes to college nowadays is certainly still possible, but comes with much more of a long-term pricetag than many people realize and is directly tied to decreasing state aid to universities. Also, unless you know the above commentator, I'd hazard you're making a myriad of assumptions about someone else's life and doesn't make me concede to any of your implied points.


Sat, Jan 14, 2012 : 3:47 a.m.

Kade - I'm in my 60s and completely worked my way through college. As for ruining the environment, I did not. I'd like to ask you, do you comb your hair (oil and chemicals in the plastics in brushes and combs), eat yogurt (plastics), drive a car (gas and plastics), buy clothes (made in 3rd world countries - by the way, I buy few items of clothing). If hyou do these things as well as many other, you are in no position to point a finger because you yourself are not doing anything different than those you so readily blame. Think of this - people of that generation suffered much more from pollution than you did. Smokestacks blew pollution into their houses, their creeks and rivers had no environmental controls and they and their children contracted disease from them. Etc., etc. You, on the other hand are protected - through their efforts. I see in russellr a person who probably was not able to obtain a college degree for whatever reason (and thus I find your criticism of his spelling quite snobbish) and who does not get a lot of tax deductions, who did what he could to get his children an education but it was not the elegant education many can afford. He is now on a fixed income and is worried about having to pay yet more taxes. Grow up a bit and stop being so critical.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 7:16 p.m.

I would like to file a retroactive complaint about how your generation ruined the environment. But that's not really realistic nor accurate, much like your contention that social programs help out everyone and "there" brother. While on that topic, I'd also like to stop contributing to your "entitlement" programs like medicare and social security, and only pay for my own, if we're going to be punitive about it. For the record, I slpit the cost of my undergraduate with my parents (Class of 2003 at U-M) doing a workstudy during the year and taking full time landscaping work in the summers. I paid for my graduate school (Wayne State) out of pocket while working full time in an administrative job. Graduated with a 4.0 and all told, 30K in debt. It's not like it used to be. It's a lot more money. I have been paying back my loans with little hardship, thankfully, but it is not a lack of responsibility that forced me or others like me to have to take out loans to cover escalating costs that have been reallocated from public universities to other areas of state government.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 2:06 p.m.

I'm in favor of it. Some type of payback is a viable issue ie if they choose to use that education elsewhere, then they owe the state for the tuition. Investing in getting people off to a good start to become lifelong contributors to society is very good use of tax dollars.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 1:33 p.m.

It is unfortunate that taxpayers keep buying into the theory if you throw more $ at education we will be better off. Where are the proposals to reduce the cost of an education? Education and health care inflation are both driven by governmnet policies. Cloumbia Univ did a study which said 72% of the research studies done by universities were ignored after they were published, (sort of like the debt reduction commission), so why do universities emphasise publish or perish? Get these high paid professors back into the class rooms and cut down on the cost of college.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 12:53 p.m.

Does anyone under the age of 30 have any clue who will eventually pay for all of this free stuff? I am 60 so it won't be my problem, but all of you young folks are being taken advantage of! Open your eyes...this costs real $$$. If NO ONE has the responsibility to be responsible for their own well being, YOU will pay! Also, consider please consider that everyone isn't cut out for college! We need tradespeople, not more desk jockey's.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 12:25 p.m.

Ryan, is it possible to find out how our legislators paid for college? I'd be curious to know how many of them had to take out loans, who worked their way through, and who had money in the family to pay for it outright. That might help us understand perspective for this debate. Thanks.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 11:43 a.m.

I support Roadman and would like to see more who work toward achieving their goals no matter what they are -- nowhere in the article does Ms. Warren talk about Scholastic merit, which is a very important factor -- only that they attend school in Michigan. I also wonder what about those technical jobs that are needed, i.e. plumbers, electricians, heating and cooling jobs. These are just as important as those jobs after leaving college.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 8:11 p.m.

The plan calls for helping with higher education, but I don't believe it could have any effect on the admission standards of the schools to which the student would have to apply. They would still have to get in to be able to use the award. It is interesting, though, that it has been shown repeatedly that if students have the expectation and promise of funds for a higher education they do better in middle and high school.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 8:40 a.m.

So what happens to MESP money and those who bought college forward for their kids? Will Ms. Warren rebate with interest and tax free those funds to responsible parents who saved for their kid's education? This is yet another political stunt from our A2 Lansing delegation that sounds good on the surface. Perhaps Ms Warren should don a white beard and declare herself Santa Claus.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 1:16 p.m.

Hmm, I would call people who have MESP's for their kids fortunate and upper income, not responsible. I think its a mischaracterization of the circumstance and a convenient way to permit ones self to ignore the unaffordability of higher education for others less fortunate without feeling any responsibility to give a hand up.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 3:26 a.m.

I'm surprised that nobody has seen this for the political grandstanding it is. Everyone knows it has a snows chance of passing, it is totally unnecessary and unaffordable, but it allows our "esteemed" senator to play the victim in the elections and cry she didn't get what she wanted for us. Somebody needs to be the grownup here. Maybe Rebekah can start acting like one.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 3:11 a.m.

It's a good idea but needs refining. There is no doubt there needs to be assistance with higher education for our young people in Michigan and a well educated population is necessary to the prosperous future of Michigan. Recipients, however, should be merit tested. A certain GPA or ACT/SAT minimum should be set. Likewise, recipients should also be required to repay their funding with X number of hours/weeks/years of public service to the state. That could be an excellent bargain for all concerned.


Sat, Jan 14, 2012 : 3:34 a.m.

I disagree with merit testing. Students often do not grow up enough until college age or later than the typical college age to really invest themselves in their studies. I don't think late bloomers should be penalized.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 2:59 a.m.

Rebeka thank you to you and your fellow democrats and any members of the party of no that may be responsible for helping low and middle class families help their children obtain a college education. If this bill were too pass this would be an excellent use of public dollars to help defray the rising cost of a college education at our public universities and colleges in Michigan. Most importantly it would provide an incentive for businesses and families to locate in Michigan and keep their children in public schools because families could actually provide a future for their children that does not require insurmountable debt in the form of student loans. People do not realize nor appreciate the projected cost of a a 4 year degree at a public university in Michigan is likely to cost well in excess of 150,000 in 18 years at current trends. We need more tax dollars to help students reduce and eliminate the cost of obtaining a college education. Knowledge and a piece of paper from a college or university does have a tremendous impact on a child's ability to obtain a job, enter a professional career as a doctor, attorney or business executive and attain a higher standard of living over the course of their life. People take for granted the opportunity to attend college at today's prices but just wait because in 18 years when those 529's are worth less and the economy hasn't quite recovered like people had hoped a few extra thousand towards your child's college degree courtesy of the State of Michigan will be much appreciated. The middle class is looking at extinction because of poor decisions by both parties over the last 3 decades. This bill is a step in the right direction to help families and our public education system regain some solid footing. As taxpayers and citizens we should encourage more legislation like this to help bolster our economy and ensure our children are not financially strapped because of student debt giving them a better future.


Sat, Jan 14, 2012 : 3:33 a.m.

I have mixed feelings about this proposal. Democrats usually fund for the wealthy, upper middle class and the poor. The working class is usually left out, except for paying for benefits for other people for things they cannot themselves afford. I suspect this is no different. Republicans usually don't fund for anyone but are good for lower taxes. If this bill is meant once again to fund for people who can already afford to send their kids to college and for the poor, I'm against it. If it's only for the poor, I'm against. it. If it is meant to send kids to colleges out of state I'm against it. I am tired of the working class and the working poor funding everything for everyone else and receiving so very little in return.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 1:26 p.m.

State government should help folks finance their higher education (with merit testing and repayment by service) for purely selfish reasons. Michigan is cascading out of the competitive realm of states for industrial and financial sector growth because we have so many deficits; poorly educated population, crumbling infrastructure and poverty. That, friend, effects us all as a state. As the world becomes smaller, the lack of competitive standing of our state globally also is an issue. We can be creative and start fixing it, or we can continue until we are the Mississippi of the North - if we are not already. People love Michigan, and leave us in droves for real opportunity not to be found here. If we as a State do not find creative answers instead of sitting around waiting for the Feds to fix us, we will surely decay further. More people becoming involved through such programs may permit greater dialogue and access for us all, and actually could help change the culture of excessively paid executives at some Universities. I think this is ultimately a question of 'which solution' not 'no solution'. The idea that relative higher education costs today are anything close to what previous generations have faced is simply false.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 8:44 a.m.

The 529's have had decent returns and remains the best way to "fund" an education. Why should the government pay for education? There are already plenty of scholarship opportunities for qualified and not so qualified students. The higher education "bubble" must be popped and costs driven down to make education affordable. Ms. Warren's ill conceived proposal does not even speak to that.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 2:42 a.m.

Liberal = Happy to spend other peoples money.

Dog Guy

Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 1:35 a.m.

By offering a $40,000 bribe for parents to send their kids to public schools, this MEA hack is earning her campaign donations. Is $40,000 enough for parents to avoid the private and charter schools?


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 1:32 a.m.

I prefer you help them to find real jobs after the school is over.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 12:55 a.m.

How about instead of raising taxes to pay for someone else's kid to go to school to get a degree in some liberal arts school like "Women's Studies", that person go serve in the military. The new 9/11 GI bill pays for everything including living expenses. I don't mind my tax dollars paying for someone who really sacrificed and served to get a great reward like that. That's the problem with these super liberal policies... too much free stuff to people who do nothing being paid by people who work really hard. That's the one thing I will give Obama so far is that new 9/11 GI Bill for troops (the people who deserve a full ride scholarship).


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 12:30 a.m.

As I see it, the main problem with tax payers paying for others' college educations is that there haven't been much of any good jobs in the State of Michigan since 1983. This was the year that Michigan became an "At-will" / Right-To-Starve State. Do we really want to do this when most of these college grads would have to leave the State, and increasingly likely the United States to get a decent job? Until ample good jobs exist again in Michigan, as much as I support and was a product of higher education, I cannot support this....


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 12:11 a.m.

This plan doesn't benefit all students in MIchigan. It only benefits the students that attend the public schools. Why aren't the students schooled in private schools or at home included? Their parents also pay taxes into the public system, and they shouldn't be discriminated against. More importantly, your primary goal as public servants should be to serve all the students in Michigan. Also, why is the only eligibility requirement based on the length of time spent in Michigan's K-12 system? If your goal is to make Michigan the most educated work force in the nation, wouldn't it make more sense to have the eligibility based on merit, such as having the students take a test, or use their GPA and ACT results as the eligibility requirement? The Michigan 2020 Plan as it stands now basically says: The longer you are in Michigan's K-12 system the more grant money will be handed to you, this money will be based solely on longevity and there are no merit requirements.


Sat, Jan 14, 2012 : 8:35 p.m.

DonBee - Thanks for the update on religious schools. I would like to know how you derived the $15,000 figure, exactly. I have found it difficult to find sources. The $15,000 per pupil figure sounds high to me. Yes, we all pay school taxes, as it should be if we are to maintain our obligation to educate our population. Given your statements, one would think the public schools would welcome fewer pupils. But that is not the case. Do you have any idea why that is?


Sat, Jan 14, 2012 : 2:40 p.m.

Jack - Charters are considered "public" schools, they get part of the money that a normal public school gets - the basic grant from the state, any sinking fund, enhancement millage or other special education related tax does not flow to charters. Religious schools get no state support. Nor do schools like Greenhills. All property owners pay school taxes, regardless of whether they have children in public schools or not. So it is to the benefit of public schools (on a pure dollar per student level) that children go elsewhere. In Ann Arbor adding up all the sources of income tax payers give it about $15,000 per student per year - about the same a parents pay out of their own pockets for Greenhills.


Sat, Jan 14, 2012 : 4:16 a.m.

YpsiLivin - There are many private schools that do recieve public tax dollars. Charter schools for one, do. I haven't kept up with the status of religious based schools but at one point they did receive public tax dollars. The public schools have, in fact, been complaining because of the loss of students to charter and other schools. This is because the amount of money they receive is based on the number of student they have. So those parents may not entirely be paying their own way as much as you believe. And yes, I support choice.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 2:52 a.m.

Chris - not sure where you're going with your argument, but parents who educate their children in private schools pay school taxes AND tuition. The public schools get their tax money whether parents use the schools or not. And just in case you think that flooding the public schools with the 90,000 or so private school students in this state will somehow generate more money for the public schools, guess again. That would require the state to come up with an additional $630,000,000 (annually) to pay for all of these new students. Parents who choose a private education for their children ARE investing in public education by paying their own way and making more resources available for everyone else.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 2:29 a.m.

Yes, but those same parents could choose not too pay for private school and instead place them in a public school where they are investing in the public education system through taxes. I pay taxes too and would love it if the state didn't use my tax dollars to subsidize companies that contribute to air and water pollution, large scale mineral extraction at the expense of the environment and future generations.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 11:14 p.m.

I keep thinking there is something about Ms Warren that makes me want to like her, but she keeps coming up with stuff that just makes no sense. When I see "a plan unveiled by Democrats/Republicans" (circle one) I get suspicious that it will not work. I would prefer reading, "a pan unveiled by Democrats and Republicans" which means it has broad appeal and is not a stunt used to blame the other side when it fails. In this case, it appears to be an overly generous gift with questionable funding that in all likelihood will accomplish only one thing, something to blame republicans for it's failure. Not sure this is a good time to be putting money into post K-12 education when those schools are having trouble fiscally. "Warren and other Democrats say passage of the proposal would mark a significant investment in Michigan's future by positioning the state as a leader in higher education and work force development. The goal is to make it so Michigan has the most educated work force in the nation." This makes no sense. The work force will only be the most educated if there are jobs in the state. I do not see how this measure will create jobs.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 11:14 p.m.

Nice idea but Michigan couldn't come up with the money for the Michigan Merit Scholarships. Where does she think this money is going to come from? Oh, the A2 surplus.....


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 10:43 p.m.

Thats very nice of her to put her money up like that.

Basic Bob

Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 11:47 a.m.

She's paying with Conan's unearned payments from the county.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 10:26 p.m.

Michigan doesn't produce enough high school graduates who are genuinely prepared to enter college. If Rebekah Warren wants to improve the higher education picture for Michigan, she should start by working to ensure that Michigan's high school graduates exit the K-12 system with a solid basic education. Second, the idea that everyone will benefit from a college education is foolish. Studies have shown that the increase in the number of college graduates over the last 50 years has not produced an increase in the number of jobs that actually REQUIRE a college education, as the Great Society crowd predicted. (As it turns out, supply doesn't drive demand after all.) 40+ years later, college graduates man the cash registers at our supermarkets and wait tables at our restaurants, but more than half of people who have graduated with a college degree in the last five years work jobs that don't require a college degree. The end result for them? They have immortal student loans they can't afford and no possibility of finding meaningful employment related to their education. Worse, workers who are "qualified" for these lower-skill, lower wage positions have been displaced by college graduates who can't find gainful employment in their chosen fields. After all, why would an employer hire a high school graduate to wait tables when s/he can hire a college graduate to wait tables instead? So why can't all of these college graduates can't find work in their fields? Well, as it turns out, they really need a Master's Degree ($30K to $100K more, please) to get into their chosen career path. The middle class has once again been sold a pig-in-a-poke, lured by the promise of $1M more in lifetime earnings that simply hasn't materialized. Rebekah Warren should stick to trying to fix the K-12 system because the last thing we need is more overqualified and underemployed college graduates who need to leave the state to find work.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 10:01 p.m.

Yep, those Democrats are all for funding higher education: <a href=""></a>

Usual Suspect

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 9:53 p.m.

&quot;Democrats announce ambitious plan to help Michigan students pay for college&quot; This is a horrible headline. Their plan is to get other people to pay for it, not to help student pay for college. Here's a better idea: how about if Universities stop overcharging for their services?


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 9:53 p.m.

&quot;but Michigan is quickly on the road to pricing out most students across the state.&quot; too bad the data doesn't support this: <a href=""></a> You can safely ignore the rest of the drizzle that spews from this buffoon's mouth as well.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 1:30 p.m.

That only indicates that we have higher education available for the wealthy, not those who merit it. It also doesn't indicate that Michigan students are being well served either. Likewise, it doesn't indicate how many Michigan residents qualified but couldn't afford admission, nor does it indicate how many stay here. That, friend, is not correlating data. The U could be full of kids from China while Michigan raises their dish washers.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 9:30 p.m.

For those wondering where the money will come from, they've already laid it out in the plan at <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>. Also, those claiming they don't want to fund education through their taxes, you should read the plan as well. What makes it so great is that they won't be raising taxes at all in order to make this work. I'm not giving up on this plan just yet, look how well we did when we spoke up on anti-bullying.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 11 p.m.

NIce fantasy document Hannah. First online sales taxes need changes in Federal law. The Federal law will probably set a uniform national rate, probably in the 2 percent range, not the 6 percent you are hoping for. Second contracting is covered by a wide range of Federal Standards and Work rules, changing most of the contracting is almost impossible. Third most of the tax incentives you hope to sunset, were with the changes to corporate taxes last year. That money is already focused on K-12 and other obligations. So where would you find an additional $1.8 billion a year? And given the average increase in Tuition rates, how do you find an additional 6 percent a year moving forward? This is 3x the rate of growth in the economy (and hence tax revenue growth).

Top Cat

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 9:25 p.m.

It would certainly be successful in growing the ranks of those staff and faculty at U of M and others that are pulling down six figure salaries.

Right of Center

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 9:15 p.m.

It would never occur to a Right Winger that military spending could be reduced while improving national defense. It will never occur to Ms. Warren that educational spending could be reduced while improving education. It's the same mindset.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 9:04 p.m.

This is why you don't vote for Democrats &quot;After years of poor decision-making in Lansing &quot; (One year of Snyder and EIGHT YEARS OF GRANHOLM) After screwing up the system now they have the answer?


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 7:04 p.m.

Granholm was ineffective. Engler left us nearly bankrupt.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 1:59 p.m.

wow, what a short memory you have. Remember Engler? Systems aren't screwed up every four years or rather, in your implication, after every democrat is in office. Poor decisions can be and are made at the hands of each party but the legislative process is designed as a system that allows for adjustment.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 8:34 p.m.

Wow, a terrific bold plan! Stands a good chance if all the legislature Republicans read it and have a heart attack and have to be replaced with special elections. Keep it on file anyway - it might happen some day.

Brian Kitchin

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 8:25 p.m.

Oh great. Let's remove all incentive to have these bastions of liberalism hold down cost. Let's guarantee they can keep raising tuition 10 times the rate of inflation by having the taxpayers foot the entire bill now. &quot;Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.&quot; --author and theologian C. S. Lewis (1898-1963)


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 8:35 p.m.

Perfect quote!

Marshall Applewhite

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 7:34 p.m.

The only way I would be in favor of this would be if the graduate is required to stay in Michigan for a certain long period of time after graduation. Otherwise, it's just more subsidization of the labor force of other states.

Marshall Applewhite

Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 12:10 a.m.

If the families are paying for their kids' college, what is the issue here?!?


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 9:33 p.m.

Not exactly though. Its also subsidization for the FAMILIES of the students, who still live in Michigan. Any way you cut it, lowering tuition for our students is a GOOD THING.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 7:30 p.m.

I worked my way through college all the way to a doctorate with no state or federal financial aid or loans. I as a taxpayer do not want to fund someone else's child through college when taxpayers already foot the bill to fund public schools, community college, and public universities. Rebekah Warren is the most left wing member of the Michigan Senate's 38 members; her plan will not pass the legislature. Rebekah is the daughter-in-law of ultraliberal former sttae senator Alma Wheeler Smith, who herself is the daughter of Al Wheeler, former left-wing A2 mayor. &quot;A heritage cannot be transmitted - it must be conquered.&quot; - French author Andre Malraux.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 7:02 p.m.

I did the same. But the costs of going to college were much less then than now. I was also able to find a job that paid a decent wage to help me get through. Again, not so easy today.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 3:41 p.m.

when did you go to school , the costs have skyrocketed since I went to school in the late 60's and 70's , it was possible then to put yourself through school, not so much now with out a loan. Partically due to the decrease in state funding to schools. There are concerns about tuition exceeding cost-of living increases and should be part of the bill. And maybe some kind of penalty if you don't stay in Michigan but that would be tuff with unemployment the way it is. Currently the money you pay in taxes for tax breaks to well-funnded lobbies, I suggest would be better spent funding education. Studies show a college education makes for significant increase in income and in many respects quality of life. There need to be safeguards in place so colleges don't use this as a boondoogle. However the tax dollars are already being spent to fund tax breaks , why not shift it to college tuition , seems like a good trade off.


Fri, Jan 13, 2012 : 3:08 a.m.

Roadman, did you go to a private college or attend college in the 1800's? If your answer to either of these is &quot;no&quot; then you received some type of federal or state funding in the form of your subsidized tuition. So, believe it or not, someone else paid for you to go to college. Hopefully your degrees weren't in economics though. Money gone to waste.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 11:18 p.m.

Grye, what hook? I do not see anything in this article that will keep graduates in Michigan if they get this aid. The bottom line is jobs. I am looking and what I am commonly asked is, &quot;Can you move?&quot;


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 8:49 p.m.

One of the problems Michigan has had over the past several years is the brain drain from students attending our Univerisities. Locals and others attend school here only to take jobs in other places. If there is a hook attached to the bait, Michigan then gains the opportunity to use the graduate's talents and hopefully have them stay.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 8:47 p.m.

I agree totally.


Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 7:26 p.m.

The idea is great but where will the money come from? I would also stipulate that the individual will stay in Michigan for at least 4 or 5 years after school or be required to pay the money back to the State.

Buster W.

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 11:24 p.m.

The Michigan taxpayer would pay, that's who.

Jeff Gaynor

Thu, Jan 12, 2012 : 7:21 p.m.

Putting education - and the future of the state and the people - before ... well, you name it -- what a concept! As to its chances of passing given the current legislature... Well, perhaps if there's a groundswell of support... Nah!