Gov. Granholm to veto bills, support Michigan Promise Scholarship
Gov. Jennifer Granholm said Monday she will veto line items in budget bills to fund high priorities such as the Michigan Promise Scholarship, Medicaid, local police and firefighters.
“The bills that are going to be sent to the governor do not fund the Michigan Promise Scholarship,” said Granholm’s spokeswoman, Liz Boyd.
Because Granholm supports the Promise, she intends to exercise her line item veto authority, Boyd said.
Since the state Senate voted to no longer fund the scholarship, Granholm is pushing for tax increases to generate $300 to $500 million for the scholarship, said Brighton freshman Colleen McNeely, chairwoman of Student Government Association’s Legislative Affairs Committee.
“The Republican Senate does not want Granholm to do the line item vetoes,” McNeely said.
However, State Rep. Bill Caul, R-Mount Pleasant, is unsure what Granholm will veto.
“If the governor vetoed some of the sections of the budget bills, we’ll have to come up with an alternate plan,” Caul said. “It will be supported in some way.”
Caul said he supports the Promise Scholarship, but is concerned with where the money will be coming from.
“It’s about where we’re going to get the money to fund these high priorities,” he said.
The six bills supposed to go to Granholm need to fund the Promise Scholarship, Boyd said.
“The governor believes that the legislation should fund the scholarship,” Boyd said.
But there are no proposed tax increases in the new budget bills the Republican Senate formed, McNeely said.
“I don’t agree with some places she’s looking to fund the Promise grant,” Caul said. “We need to show the people of Michigan we are ready to tighten our belts and to fund our priorities before we go out and raise taxes on our families and the people in Michigan.”
Although tax increases are generally viewed as economically damaging, they would fund the scholarship, keeping more students in Michigan, which would strengthen the work force, McNeely said.
“In the long run, this scholarship will have a positive effect on Michigan’s economy,” she said. “I think Granholm realizes that, which is why she is taking these efforts to veto the budget bills.”
Education is a priority, and the value of education is priceless, but getting that education is expensive, Caul said.
“I certainly support the Promise grants and the money that is going to students,” he said.
However, Caul does not agree with Granholm’s philosophy to raise revenues by increasing taxes for the residents of Michigan.
There is always a chance the House and Senate may reject Granholm’s veto, Caul said.
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