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House, Senate conference committee cuts Promise scholarship

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network

LANSING, MI – At the state Capitol, a team of House and Senate negotiators has struck a deal on a higher education budget for the coming fiscal year. The spending plan zeroes out funding for the Michigan Promise college scholarship. It also reduces other types of student financial aid.

Representative George Cushingberry chairs the House Appropriations Committee. He says the loss of the scholarship is the result of lawmakers' unwillingness to raise taxes.

"It's time for all of us to grow up and be men and women who have the guts to put our money where our mouth is," he says. "There's no such thing as a free lunch. You have to pay the piper sometime, so today I'm doing my part to pay the piper."

Cushingberry and some other Democrats say it is time for the Legislature to consider tax increases to restore the scholarship. Cushingberry says he'd support new fees on bottled water and soda pop dedicated to college scholarships.

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