LANSING (WWJ) – Democratic state lawmakers are ready to move forward with a proposal to provide free college tuition to anyone in Michigan who needs it.

“The will certainly have some curbside appeal for families that are struggling to put their kids through college,” said WWJ Lansing Bureau Chief Tim Skubick.

But where would all that cash come from? Skubick spoke with State Sen. Gretchen Whitmer

“We can find $1.7 billion to pay for kids to go to college because we know that education is economic development. They’ve (done) it in Minnesota, they’ve proven it in Kalamazoo,” said Whitmer. “We can replicate that in our state – the whole state.”

State Republican leader Randy Richardville said he’ll take a look at it, but he’s not ready to endorse the Democrats’ plan.

“It appears to be a lot of a stretch … The way, conceptually, I’ve heard about it, I don’t know where we’re gonna find $1.8 billion to give away every year,” Richardville said.

Details of the plan, including how Democrats’ plan to fund it, were expected to be unveiled Tuesday.

Comments (44)
  1. Jann says:

    If ‘FREE’ tuition is offered to any-all students in Michigan….are all of the unionized Professors/TA’s at these lucky colleges and universities going to ALSO teach for FREE? Since when do any schools operate ‘free’ of charge?
    Another reason why our country is in such dire financial straits…We were taught years ago, that NOTHING IS FREE! Clearly, some of our elected representatives never learned that …..perhaps some Econ. 101 and Accounting principles courses should be mandatory for them.AS WELL AS taking the course at HILLSDALE COLLEGE on The Constitution ..Free, of course but paid for out of their ‘freely voted upon’ salaries/benefits/retirement and insurance plans by the very ones who ‘receive’ them….footing the bills for these folks are you and me….I don’t recall that we got a vote on any of those lofty salaries, etc. Why pick on our institutions of higher learning to ‘foot the bills’ for tuition costs? Maybe the professors salaries/benefits, plans etc. need to be given a second glance also since costs for college educations are now out of sight.
    Also, our elected lawmakers compensation packages might be more in line with what we in the private sector earn if a NON elected committee who have some finance backgrounds and are still active in the private sector (where the pay scales are now way below what our government workers are paid) should be put in place to ‘suggest’ a more reasonable pay and benefit package for our ‘elected employees’ – I think many of them conveniently ‘forget’ that they actually are OUR EMPLOYEES… Just a thought…..

    1. Durundal says:

      There is no marginal cost associated with an extra student attending a lecture, fool. Sit back down and stop talking out of your arse. And stop trying to equate public and private sectors – government handles what the private sector cannot adequately provide – and thats coming from someone with a finance and economics background

      1. you frustrate me says:

        You’re right, there would be no marginal cost with an extra student attending a lecture. But once you get the ball rolling, is it going to stop? How many “needy” kids does the government pay for? Can they go to any college? What’s the marginal cost of having several hundred (non-paying) students at a college? How many paying students is that going to replace? Hell, I think I’ll just quit my job and be poor and then I can go to college for free. Cause apparently being poor gives you the right to go. I heard that making good grades can get you full rides into some schools. I know people who work part time jobs and pay for their own college tuition. I’m paying for mine, barely, but I’m doing it. So, back to your “economic genius” example. You’re right, one person won’t make much of a difference in a ceteris paribus situation but that isn’t the case. There are so many different factors that are involved. I wouldn’t say the government is doing that good of a job. If you are such an economist, you would know that the government is pretty damn inefficient.

      2. me says:

        With a finance and economics background, you should then know that almost all government programs lose money….take your post office for example.

      3. bob says:

        There is little marginal cost but there is a degradation in services as classrooms swell from 50 students to 100. Then they will demand more professors and new buildings. Suddenly, there is a marginal cost, you fool. The economics/finance people destroyed the economy. You must be one of those idiots.

      4. BobtheMoron says:

        There is no such thing as free. Somebody is paying for everything. The gainfully employed are soaked to pay for the deadbeats.

  2. Jim says:

    Sounds like to me that too many Democrats think they may not get re-elected it they don’t find a way to encourage more voters, Just what is needed, more something for nothing and a “you owe me” attitude. I’m just sayin’!

  3. Racerboy says:

    Great idea!!! But, I think we need to figure out how to get our High School graduates to read at above the 7th grade level first. Just another example of what our fine Liberal Leaders and the Teacher’s Unions see as job security. Anybody giving any thought to trade schools??? What ever happened to wood shop, metal shop, auto shop and print shop? I guess developing those sort of skills falls below O’Bama’s and our Educator’s vision of everyone needing to go to college.

  4. Ann says:

    Jann – your comment were spot on! Jim’s too.
    FREE??? Really???

    OK – so I am now paying for my own advanced degree, but will have to foot the bill for other people’s kids and likely a ton of other adults. Where is all this money coming from when the state is in DEBT with unfunded liabilities, just like the entire country?

    Folks don’t seem to understand what “money” really is..just a symbol of agreement between parties on what something is worth. We have nothing but DEBT and IOU’s saved up as a state and as a nation.

    When will it end? We need to completely change out all politicians..both parties, in my view. Otherwise, those of us approaching retirement might find better places to live with our hard-earned savings (what little that is left) in some other country.

    1. willow says:

      I agree…fire all the politicians.

    2. elysummers says:

      I agree with what your saying. I am concerned that those that are living on the edge will just give up and say “why should I work so hard, when I can just quit and go to school?” I do believe we should help people get an education, just not give it away for free. Bare minimum one should have to go back to their community and donate some time helping out there after they receive their free education.

  5. Ron says:

    College education for those who want it or who need it. Let em all go to Wayne State. Just another Democratic entitlement program. What are the Dems thinking.

  6. Boo says:

    Good then when they graduate the Liberals will bus them down to the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations where they can complain that nobody wants to hire them and their useless Humanities degrees.

    1. bob says:

      Don’t forget the ethnic and gender studies programs. They are churning out tomorrow’s entrepreneurs LOL

  7. Bull dung is getting deeper all the time says:

    Free college..hahahahahahahaha…..No the tuition for those paying is going to go up for those that can’t. Then when they get those college degrees we can see articles on CNN where these people can’t get jobs because they are of a certain ethnic group. Everybody knows this is another entitlement program paid for on the backs of the working people.

  8. Pam says:

    “The plan would come at no additional cost to taxpayers and instead be funded entirely by eliminating ineffective tax loopholes for special interests and cutting costs within the thousands of contracts the state currently administers.” per the plan site at

    1. Sell me a bridge says:

      If “ineffective tax loopholes” are closed, the effective tax rate increases. This means that some people and/or businesses will see an increase in their taxes. How does the plan figure that it would be no additional cost to taxpayers?

      1. Pam says:

        Go read the plan and find out. If it’s not addressed, call and ask. Easy Peasy.

  9. kim says:

    Take some of these young and able to work adults off of disability and SSI (I know of a few of them) and you’d be surprised how much money is there to help people who actually need it.

  10. As I recall, this is how they do it in Germany and Most of Europe. So long has you are in a major with a reasonable chance of finding work upon graduation, and as long as you are receiving passing grades, you can continue. Where does the money come from? The top 1%, the top 5%, and the top 20% of the population are grossly overpaid. Take the money from them.

    1. elysummers says:

      And some of them then need to serve a couple years in the military in their country. Might be good here. What does everyone think?

      1. I served four years in the military. Would not wish it on my worst enemy, most certainly not my kids.

    2. bob says:

      The top 20% are grossly overpaid? You’re a freaking moron. Who are you to decide how much a person should be paid just because your a clownish loser

      1. They call the title Christian. Otherwise, none of bob’s comment is worth commenting on.

  11. Kshaw says:

    What? College is already free to low income persons, through hundreds, if not thousands of grants and scholarships available to persons who qualify. Some people are just to lazy to earn these rewards on their own. All this sounds like is some politician’s latest scheme to get more votes from people who lack enough common sense to see that this ploy for what it really is.

  12. willow says:

    So, this means that once again, education will be inflated to the point where janitors need 4-year degrees. They are making it to the point where people need 4-year degrees for a menial job that really does not require such a degree, but the companies put it on the want ad anyway. The point of valuing something is that not everyone has it. If everyone has something, it loses value. Maybe 10% of the American population can afford degrees beyond a 4-year. That does not bode well for society. Are we going to start giving people free MBAs eventually, too?

    1. tonya says:

      Just because a help wanted ad says that a 4 yr degree is required, or strongly desired, doesn’t mean you can’t get that job without the degree. I have no 4 yr degree, just some college and lots of work experience in my field. I had some medical issues and family issues that forced me to leave school and work full time to keep roof over head/food on table. I have never been afraid to apply for something I feel I can do well. I Have beat out people with a degree for a job more than once. In my current position, I am the only one of my peers without one. It can be all about the interview and how you convince the company that you are the best choice. Many of the people in my department at a large financial institution have a Masters and have not progressed any further in the company than myself. There are so many factors when it comes to getting a foot in the door and then getting a promotion or two. People need to have courage, experience and knowledge and be able to demonstrate those traits effectively. I tell my kids that are in their early 20s now that education is important, but also remember that it’s all about the interview some times.

  13. tonya says:

    I didn’t realize tuition was free in Minnesota…. why does my son pay tuition at a MN state university then? MI wants to replicate a program in MN that doesn’t exist in MN. wth are they talking about?

    1. Mark says:

      Tonya…you are so right! I live in Minnesota and they don’t give free tuition to everyone! I had to pay for my own degrees! Certainly, my dad would help out, but he wanted me to earn that degree and not get a free ride. To this day, that lesson has taught me many other life lessons. Like to appreciate the things that I have worked for in this life and not to be simply handed things for doing not a thing! What does that teach you, that money grows on trees?

  14. Ashley says:

    When people get something for nothing, they usually don’ t appreciated what they are given. One only has to look at certain college athletes and the mockery and abuse they cause college campuses with their illegal activities and sub-par performances in the class room of course most don’t earn a degree . So scholarship money in a sense has been wasted……don’t get me started on the students that need remedial courses and shouldn’t be in college in the first place. Where does the gravy train end?

  15. Ron in Iowa says:

    There is a way to get free education, it is called serving your country in the Armed Forces of the United States. You want to watch enrollment in the military decline? Just continue to pursue this type of BS. And with no skin the game, what makes you think any of these students will take it seriously. Yes some will, but not enough to make it worth the effort.
    And I agree with others, what does it do for those that have already received their education?

  16. JOSE0311USMC says:


  17. JOSE0311USMC says:


  18. Rob says:

    Free Collage for everyone? This is the most disturbing thing I have ever heard. We should all be ashamed for letting people like this in a public office. It started out with some Private donations to help some High School grads go to college. Now they want to expand it and steel money from companies and have FREE collage for all! What’s next? Free Cars, Free Gas, Free Homes, Free everything for everyone. What is this teaching our young people? They don’t have to work hard because it’s free. Nothing is FREE! We will pay for it one way or another. Companies will go to another state, you may lose your job, or later they will want you to pay for it. Our state is broke now! Do these people think they live in utopia? bill (MICHIGAN 2020)

  19. froSTed says:

    The education scam is still being pushed, I am disheartened. College does not lead to jobs, it leads to debt. Graduating does not mean that you will find work in the field you chose, in fact, those who have experience in the field, even with little to no education, tend to get the jobs. While you spend 4 years of your life, goofing off, racking up debt, and getting an “education” the worker that starts at the bottom right out of high school has already made money and will have a much better chance of making allot more. Think about it like this: do I higher a kid out of college with no experience who “needs” the job, or the kid with 4 years on him who knows the job inside and out?
    This whole BS was promised to my generation: if you go to college, when you get out there will be a great job waiting for you. With that broken promise, why bother?

  20. Ron says:

    Hip Hip Hooray another unfunded entitlement program…

  21. uncle tom says:

    The UAW has money that they haven’t borrowed yet.

    The UAW can pick up the cost for all of this so called “FREE” college education.

    The dopes in government are dopey as dopey can be.

    Michigan politicians proving once again how dumb and uneducated they truly are

  22. BobtheMoron says:

    FREE!!! When to we get free of democrats spending money we don’t have?

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