Granholm: State must keep college merit grants

Granholm: State must keep college merit grants
June 17, 2009/Detroit News

Granholm: State must keep college merit grants

Mark Hornbeck / Detroit News Lansing Bureau

East Lansing -- Gov. Jennifer Granholm said today she will reject the Senate's plan to wipe out funding for college student merit scholarships.

"No, that will not stand," the governor said after addressing an urban revitalization summit at Michigan State University.

Elimination of the grants, which provide up to $4,000 for students who pass state high school tests, doesn't match up with the administration's goal to double the number of college graduates, Granholm said.

"Families have budgeted (for the grants) already," Granholm said.

The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education voted along partisan lines Tuesday to scratch the $140 million Michigan Promise Scholarship to help close a $1.7 billion deficit in the budget year that starts Oct. 1. The financial aid goes to about 100,000 students.

The full Senate committee on Tuesday slashed $533 million from the Department of Mental Health budget, including reimbursement to Medicaid providers, the Healthy Michigan Fund for health education and prevention programs and some Medicaid services.

Granholm said today: "We don't want to cut people off health care at a time when they're really, really challenged."

She acknowledged there will be "very painful cuts" in next year's budget, but added the spending plans are far from finalized.

On another topic, she said Michigan will be "as aggressive as we've ever been" in pursuing General Motors Corp.'s small vehicle plant in the U.S.

Granholm added that unemployment figures due out today for Michigan "are not good and not unanticipated."

She told attendees at the Cities of Promise conference that "Michigan is down, but we are not out. ... We want to work with you to see Michigan is the turnaround story of the decade." (313) 222-2470

Posted on Wednesday, June 17, 2009 (Archive on Wednesday, June 24, 2009)
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