Funding help for low-income students to attend private college would be maintained under a budget plan advanced by a House committee this week.
Within House Bill 5785, the House kept funding for the Tuition Incentive Program at the current level of $71.3 million and declined to adopt a $6.1 million reduction proposed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in her budget proposal.
Elsewhere in the proposed spending plan, the Tuition Grant Program stays at $42 million, the same amount suggested by the Governor. However, the grants were raised from current $2,800 per student to $3,000 in the House plan, compared to a proposed Governor increase to $2,900.
Both aforementioned programs assist low-income students with attending private colleges and universities in Michigan.
Other provisions of note in the House higher education budget included:
- $500,000 added to both the community college and higher education budgets for pregnant and parenting student services.
- A requirement that public and private organizations conducting human embryonic stem cell research report their activities to the state was restored, which the Governor removed from her budget.
- $5 million was added for research grants to public universities that agree not to conduct research on aborted fetal tissue.
The higher education spending proposal advanced from a House appropriations subcommittee to the full House Appropriations Committee, where it will await further action.
The House spending plan comes in response to the Governor's budget recommendations she presented earlier this year.
In other budget-related news, House Bill 5790, the House budget for the Michigan State Police, includes $50 million ($25 million of which is federal COVID funds) to support the cost of resource officers in schools, who assist school administration in ensuring the physical safety of school buildings and the people in them.
Grants would be for developing safety procedures, counseling and mentoring students, and de-escalating aggression between students, as well as between students and staff.
That budget bill also advanced from a House appropriations subcommittee to the full House Appropriations Committee for further consideration.