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Mon September 14, 2009
State Rep says Michigan students should get free tuition
By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network
LANSING, MI – A state lawmaker says Michigan's constitution should be amended so high school graduates can go to in-state universities and colleges for free.
Democratic Representative Fred Durhal introduced a plan he says he would like to see on the ballot in November of next year. It would create a pool of money that would pay for college tuitions of all Michigan students who graduate with a GPA higher than 2.5. The money would be untouchable by the governor or Legislature to balance the budget.
Durhal says his plan is a long-term solution for the state's economic woes. He says the Legislature too often deals with short-term answers.
"The problem with the budget is because we've done a lot of quick fixes, and we haven't dealt with the budget the way that we need to," he says. "I'm saying - as it relates to education for college only - that this is something that we can do, I think it is something whose time has come, and I think the citizens of Michigan are ready to do this."
Durhal says he would not raise taxes to find the money for his plan. His plan would collect money from lotteries and Indian casinos, but those would be voluntary give-backs and still would not cover the cost to pay all the tuitions.