State grant and scholarship dollars for students attending private colleges and universities in Michigan are on the chopping block as the state’s Democratic governor attempts to use line-item vetoes to force budget concessions from Republican lawmakers.
Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer this week cut $38 million from lawmakers’ higher education budget. The cuts include money for the Michigan Tuition Grant, which provides up to $2,400 for a poor or middle-class student attending a private college in Michigan, the Detroit Free Press reported. It also included money available for private college students in the Michigan Competitive Scholarship, which also provides up to $2,400. Students attending private colleges can receive funding from one of the two different financial aid programs.
The tuition grant program was zeroed out by the governor’s veto. The competitive scholarship was cut from a maximum of $2,400 per student at a private college to $1,000. The maximum scholarship for public college students wasn’t reduced.
The vetoes are an effort to bring lawmakers “back to the table to negotiate a real budget,” a spokeswoman for the governor told the Free Press. The higher ed vetoes are part of 147 line-item vetoes chopping $947 million from the state’s spending plan that Whitmer issued Monday. Whitmer takes issue with the budget passed by lawmakers as threatening public health and safety by underfunding priorities.