LANSING (AP) – Some Democrats in Michigan’s Legislature are proposing a pilot program for 200 high school graduates a year to get free college tuition if they give 4 percent of future earnings to the state for 20 years.

Bills announced Tuesday are being called “pay it forward” legislation. Participants’ earnings would be used to help future students also attend public universities or community colleges without upfront financial obstacles.

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Democratic Rep. David Knezek of Dearborn Heights is hoping Michigan could secure federal funding for the program he says would cost $2 million a year initially.

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The legislation’s backers say it’s a creative way to help students avoid debt and could be expanded to more students if successful. Other Democratic sponsors are Rep. Theresa Abed of Grand Ledge and Sen. Jim Ananich of Flint.

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