Mich. House GOP introduces legislation to cut funding for MSU, Wayne State
A small cadre of House Republicans on Thursday introduced legislation that will force Michigan State University and Wayne State University to forfeit millions of dollars in state aid payments.
The move comes as the GOP claims the two universities violated a tuition restraint deal in the most recently enacted budget deal which goes into effect Oct. 1. That deal cut aid to universities 15 percent so long as the universities held their tuition increases to no more than 7.1 percent.
The heart of the matter is what constitutes an academic year? MSU argues that they kept within the ceiling because the tuition increase from summer semester into autumn was 6.9 percent, reports the State News. However, the GOP argues that using an academic year of autumn to autumn the actual increase was 9.4 percent.
MSU is defending itself against the claims.
University spokesman Kent Cassella said in a statement the proposed bill continues a decade-long trend of disinvestment in higher education by the State of Michigan.
“This type of bill further exacerbates disinvestment by the state,” he said.
Members of the Board of Trustees were taken aback by news of the bill.
MSU Trustee Mitch Lyons, a Republican, spoke out against the proposed law.
“I don’t agree with the legislation,” he said. “From what I understand, MSU was completely transparent.”
MSU Trustee George Perles said officials are failing to properly represent the state.
“They’re not living up to their obligations with the state budget,” he said. “They’re not living up to what they promised.”
State Budget Director John Nixon earlier this summer determined that MSU and Wayne State had not violated the tuition increase cap.