Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Senate Republicans Vote to Eliminate Michigan Promise Scholarship

As was threatened before, today the Senate Republicans actually pushed the button and eliminated the Michigan Promise Scholarship, as well as cuts to other college aid programs. They did put in a placeholder in case someone else figured out how to fund the program, but the solution obviously won't come from them.

The Michigan Senate has passed a bill that would eliminate funding for a state-sponsored college scholarship program but keep debate about the program alive.

The Republican-led chamber's version of the higher education bill passed 19-17 Tuesday eliminates money for the Michigan Promise scholarship for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. But it keeps a placeholder for the program in the bill in case lawmakers figure out a way to at least partially fund the scholarships.
The Senate Democrats sent out a release that indicates that other aid was cut as well. Amendments were introduced to...

  • Restore $89.8 million for the Michigan College Access Grants and other state-funded scholarship programs that Michigan families depend on to send their kids to college.

  • Preserve $1.9 million in nursing grant money to help train students for nursing jobs—one of the few growing fields in the state.

  • Restore renaissance zone reimbursement funding that returns local dollars that are mandated for community colleges as part of the Community College budget.
  • ... but you know how that goes. Thanks for trying people.

    You could almost say that this is a personal shot at the governor, but the amount of cuts they are making really indicate otherwise. They are cutting everything. Still, this was originally Engler's baby, expanded recently to accomodate more students in our quest to up the number of college graduates in this state.

    Cherry said the irony of a GOP-led Senate attempting to scuttle a signature program of the last Republican governor is lost on the Senate.

    “They view it as Jennifer Granholm’s program, not John Engler’s program,” Cherry said.
    Mike Bishop has indicated to the Freep that he is waiting for other people to solve this problem - very telling when it comes to his leadership (?) style. For a guy who runs around proclaiming he is going to dictate how the stimulus should be spent, and how Republicans will run the show on the budget, he sure is quick to pass the buck when it's time for accountability. Love the word "radical" in this first paragraph as well. If the shoe fits...

    Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, R-Rochester, said the elimination of funds for the Michigan Promise was among many radical cuts the Senate has proposed because of what he called the state's financial crisis.

    "The administration complains about cuts, but at some point they're going to have to tell us how to balance the budget," Bishop said. "If it means they want to raise taxes, they should be clear about that, they need to be honest with people. Stop complaining and start stepping up with solutions, we're all ears."
    Bishop admits the Republicans don't have the solutions and can't balance the budget without destroying the state. Thanks, Mike, for your honesty. It's about time. So glad you have finally seen the light and admitted your incompetence. You can go sit down now, and let the adults take care of business.