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Promise scholarship becomes signature budget fight

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network

LANSING, MI – The state Senate adopted a higher education budget Tuesday that removes funding for the Michigan Promise scholarship and other types of financial aid for students.

The Michigan Promise college scholarship has become a signature fight in the budget battle. Lieutenant Governor John Cherry helped develop the scholarship. He says, even if the size of the grant is reduced, students who complete two years of college or job training should get some help: "There are 96,000 families in Michigan that have been promised this money for their higher education."

Cherry says getting more students through college is one of the most important things Michigan can do to rebuild its economy.

But Republican Senator Tony Stamas says tough choices are necessary to balance a budget with a $1.7 billion shortfall.

"We've also made a promise to citizens in terms of our corrections system and keeping people in our prisons. We also made a promise to our citizens in terms of balancing the budget."

Cutting the Promise scholarship would save the state 140 (m) million dollars.

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