Lawmakers Kick Off Budget Debate, Consider Student Loan Tax Credit

Feb 6, 2014

State lawmakers have kicked off debate over the state budget.

As The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Jake Neher reports, education funding is expected to get a lot of attention in the coming months.

The first budget hearings of the year focused on Governor Rick Snyder’s call to boost funding for K-12 and higher education. His budget plan includes a 3% increase for public schools and about a 6% increase for colleges and universities.

Republican state Senator Tonya Schuitmaker chairs the Senate panel that oversees higher education funding. She says those are numbers she and her colleagues could support.

“I can’t really speak for the House, but most likely the Senate will stay with the 6.1% increase,” she says.

Michigan college and university officials say that kind of increase would help them control tuition costs. But they say it’s not enough to offset years of inadequate state funding.