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House Reveals Budget Proposal: On Thursday, June 6, the House finally unveiled the remaining pieces of its state budget proposal, including School Aid, Higher Education and Transportation. While the House did remove universities from the School Aid budget, it does not invest that $500 million in schools. Instead, the House includes an additional $542.5 million for roads to be raised by removing 4 cents of the sales tax from gasoline at the pump and replacing it with a gas tax, with the remaining 2 cents of sales tax paid at the pump to be replaced with a gas tax the following year. House leadership notes that this shift would mean all taxes paid at the pump would go toward roads and infrastructure, no General Fund dollars would go toward roads, and the School Aid Fund would go exclusively toward K-12 schools and community colleges, with universities funded out of the state's General Fund. The plan is more or less revenue neutral overall.

Subcommittee Reports Universities Budget: On Thursday, June 4, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Higher Education and Community Colleges finally reported its budget recommendation for university funding. That budget, House Bill 4236 (VanSingel), only recommends a 0.7% increase for operations, much of which would be distributed to universities that have been short-changed through the Indian Tuition Waiver reimbursements, resulting in very small increases for some institutions. In addition, the recommendation includes tuition restraint language at 3.2%.

Hearing on Sexual Assault Bill: This coming Tuesday, June 11, the House Judiciary Committee will hold a second hearing on House Bill 4383 (Cambensy), which would state that a person who intentionally uses his or her professional position of authority over another person to prevent or attempt to prevent the other person from reporting an alleged sexual assault violation to a Title IX coordinator at a postsecondary educational institution is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or both.

Freedom of Information Act Updates: This coming Tuesday, June 11, the Senate Oversight Committee will take testimony on House Bill 4445 (Iden), which would amend section 4 of Michigan's Freedom of Information Act. Currently, the Act refers to specific forms of nonpaper physical media that may be used to provide public records, including computer discs, computer tapes, or other digital or similar media. The bill would refer instead to public records provided to a requestor on any form of nonpaper physical media, without listing specific formats that may become outdated.

 
 

 

HELPFUL LINKS

Michigan Legislature’s website (bill tracking and committee meetings)

Michigan House of Representatives

Michigan Senate

Community College Legal Authority (Michigan Constitution)

Community College Act of 1966

 

For the map of the community college districts, click here.

 

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