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Are conservative Republicans trying to 'micromanage' state university budgets?

A leader in Michigan’s higher education community says state universities may urge the governor to veto the state education budget bill.   He says it’s a question of ‘micromanaging’.    

Michael Boulus is the executive director of the President’s Council, a group that lobbies on behalf of Michigan’s public colleges and universities. 

He’s disturbed by a series of amendments to the state House education budget bill.  For example, before passing the bill, the House tacked on an amendment cutting state aid to universities by 5% if the universities provide health benefits to the live-in partnersof university employees.    That's on top of a 15% cut already in the budget plan. 

Boulus says universities are simply following a trend in the business world in offering the health benefits. 

“This is not some great social or liberal experiment at universities.”

Boulus says there is a trend among conservative Republicans in the state House to micromanage universities, based on their own social and religious beliefs. 

 Boulus says universities will hope to keep provisions restricting health care benefits and stem cell research out of the final education bill.   If those provisions stay in, Boulus says the universities may ask the governor to veto the final education budget bill.      

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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