Skubick: Higher education funding in line for state funding slash

LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – A local Democrat is warning college parents that tuition costs will go up now that the governor and GOP leaders have decided to spend less on state support to MSU and 14 other universities.

The governor originally called for a $60 million increase for higher education but then the budget deficit appeared.

And so he warned university presidents that the hike might be cut. “It’s going to be a challenge to get what I asked for but I’m still working hard to make sure universities are a priority.”

Lansing Democratic Senator Curtis Hertel Jr is not buying the governor’s rhetoric. “This is another broken promise to our young people.”

Here’s the deal: Lawmakers will cut the increase by $20 million.

“Are they going to be happy?” asked Sen. Peter MacGregor. “Probably not but they are still getting an increase. Instead of the $60 million they are going to get a $40 million increase. We still have time to get back to where we were when they took a hit.” The senator doesn’t see tuition increased on the horizon.

When Sen. Hertel was asked if tuitions will be higher he said “absolutely. We have for too long under funded higher education and we pretend like we care about tuition increases.

MSU president Lou Anna K. Simon argues all the cuts over the years are adding up. “It’s the cumulative effect over a long period of time. Michigan has gone from the top funding to the bottom.”

Look for lawmakers to finalize the higher education budget soon.

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