LANSING (WWJ) – State Senate Democrats have announced a contest to help promote their proposed plan to provide free college tuition to all Michigan high school grads.

Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer Tuesday announced the “#mi2020 Scholarship Competition” offering the winner a year’s worth of tuition, up to $10,000, at any of Michigan’s community colleges or public universities.

“Michigan can jumpstart its economy and bring jobs to our state by creating the most highly skilled workforce in the nation, and that’s exactly what our Michigan 2020 Plan would do,” said Whitmer, in a statement. “The #mi2020 Scholarship Competition is designed to demonstrate the impact this program would have on a student’s life by giving one high school senior a year’s worth of free tuition right now while we continue to work towards enacting this critically important program for all Michigan students.”

To enter, students are asked to submit a short web video at that explains the importance of investing in higher education and how a plan to offer free tuition to all in Michigan makes sense for our state.  Submissions open today, March 6, and are due by April 20, 2012. Online voting will begin on April 23 with the top 20 videos moving on to the finals.

Senate Democrats have said they’re ready to move forward with their free tuition plan which is estimated to cost the state about $1.8 billion a year — but at “no additional cost to taxpayers.”

Democrats say, instead, be paid for by “reducing ineffective and outdated tax loopholes.”  But, so far, they haven’t explained further.

Republicans say they’ll be happy to take a look at the plan, but they question just where all that cash will come from.

When asked by WWJ Newsradio 950 for their reaction to the Democrats’ announcement, a spokesperson for Gov. Rick Snyder’s office said they also are a “bit confused,” wondering the same thing. Snyder’s director of communications Geralyn Lasher said the state already did away with most of the business tax credits in Michigan back in 2011.

Democrats are expected to reveal more details and present the legislation this week.

The #mi2020 Scholarship Competition is open to all current Michigan high school seniors. To learn more about eligibility or to enter, visit this link.

Comments (8)
  1. ronald dwyer says:

    There is no such thing as a free lunch. This money has to come from some where. Basically the Democrats are saying that $1.8 billion of our tax dollars are being wasted as they said the program of paying for college tuition is already there.

    If that’s the case why didn’t they realize this sooner? Why did the democrats when they ran this state allow it to go so deep in the financial hole????

    No to their program! I paid for my own education by working and going to school. This is not a socialist society. You earn your keep. I did, my parents did, my grand parents did etc.!

    1. Right to Work says:

      If you look at where most of the money going to school districts currently goes to, salaries and benefits for a highly politicized UNION workforce, you understand the reasoning behind the plan. It is another Democrat ploy to BUY the votes of their constituents.
      You are correct there is no such thing as a free lunch….just more bribes paid for by you and I.

    2. Sam the Man says:

      I agree we don’t have the money that’s why the governor took it out of my pension check. Fix the roads so we all can benefit would make more sense.

  2. Joan of Snark says:

    Choices have consequences. A degree in any kind of “studies” is rarely worth the paper it’s printed on so subsidizing them is a waste of money, whether that money comes out of the pocket of the student or the taxpayer.

    There’s a very good reason the Declaration of Independence states that “PURSUIT” of happiness is an unalienable right. Not everyone is cut out for college but if they want to pursue it, God bless ’em but it is up to THEM to pay for it. Not anyone else.

    A better choice by the Democrats would be to figure out why all of the much-touted hiring by the auto industry is happening everywhere but in Michigan. Hint: it isn’t because the taxpayers bore the brunt of the bailouts.

  3. tahlkewl1 says:

    Perhaps a contest for the best paper describing how to pay for such a plan? Dems seem to want to control the cost of everything except tuition, instead shrug their shoulders and say eh’ whaddayagonnado..

  4. Occupy American Economy says:

    Hey Congressman Whitmer read this !

    I have a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering and am an expert in computer engineering methods. I also have taught graduate engineering courses at Wayne State U. BUT I have had to work two years in Ohio and Maryland because Michigan businessmen hire cheap H-1B immigrant engineers. So much for higher education in Michigan whne you are out sourced or in sourced.

  5. First things first says:

    Many high school “graduates” are not prepared for college work. Yet colleges “accept” them and then place them in non-credit “remedial” work while charging college tuition. Before we offer grads a “free” year of college, let’s give them a free high school education that adequately prepares them for college work.

  6. Racerboy says:

    “Michigan can jumpstart its economy and bring jobs to our state by creating the most highly skilled workforce in the nation…” Exactly what “skills” does Ms.Whitmer think are young people are going to acquire in college? What economic boon is going to be seen with degrees in history, english literature, political science, humanities, etc., etc., etc.? Skills are valuable things learned in trade school…skills learned to actually make a living, add to the GNP, move the country forward. Carpenters, electricians, plumbers…people who actually work…those are skills. .And I love the part about no ADDITIONAL cost to taxpayers…right!!! This is nothing more than typical Union Thuggery to ensure existing employment for current teacher Union members and a virtual guarantee of additional future employment for even more Educational Union mopes.
    Wake up people…just another Democrat/Union tryst to attempt to feather their own dwindling nests and enlarge the voting block that blindly elects them to office.

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