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In-state tuition for veterans one step closer to November ballot

Luke Hayter

All honorably discharged military veterans would be guaranteed in-state tuition at Michigan's public universities and community colleges, under a plan that has cleared the State House.

The bill's sponsor, Rep. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, says the proposed constitutional amendment would benefit the state economically. He says it would attract veterans and their families to live and work here.

And he says it is the right thing to do. "It's a way for all Michigan residents to affirm their support of those who have chosen to serve in the military and have taken the time to serve our state and our country," Stamas says.

Mike Hansen, president of the Michigan Community College Association, says the state should cover the lost tuition revenue, which he estimates at about $4 million annually for community colleges. The resolution does not address that.

Stamas said all 15 of the state's public universities already offer in-state tuition to veterans – and so do many community colleges.

But with a constitutional amendment, only voters could change the policy – not the legislature and not the universities or colleges.

If two-thirds of the State Senate also approves the measure, it will go to the voters in November.

–Virginia Gordan, Michigan Radio Newsroom