Michigan deal funds virus outbreak, tuition aid, tourism ads
LANSING (AP) — Michigan lawmakers and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday agreed to $321 million in spending that will be used to combat the coronavirus, provide financial assistance for certain adults to go to community college and partially revive the state’s tourism campaign.
The supplemental bills won bipartisan approval from the Republican-led House and could be passed by the GOP-controlled Senate on Thursday. The Democratic governor will sign the legislation.
Some of the money will partly restore funding she vetoed last fall amid a budget impasse over fixing roads.
The measures include:
≤$35 million to fund the Reconnect Grant program, which Whitmer proposed a year ago. Starting in the next school year, the state will provide tuition-free community college or technical training for an estimated 51,000 nontraditional students age 25 and older who have no associate’s or bachelor’s degree.
The aid will cover tuition or mandatory fees not already offset by need-based federal Pell Grants or Michigan’s tuition program for Medicaid recipients.
≤$25 million to prepare for and respond to the coronavirus, $10 million now and $15 million in reserve.
≤$16 million for the Pure Michigan tourism and marketing campaign, which was not funded for five months.