Senate votes to expand tax-free accounts for K-12 expenses

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Parents could use tax-free savings accounts to pay for students' school-related expenses including extracurricular activities under legislation that has cleared a divided Michigan Senate.
The Republican-led chamber approved the bills 23-14 Tuesday, with Democrats and some Republicans in opposition. The legislation goes to the House for consideration next.
It would create an expanded Michigan Education Savings Program, through which families currently contribute money tax-free to pay for college expenses.
The main bill sponsor, Republican Sen. Patrick Colbeck of Canton, says the contributions could pay for special education services, extracurricular activities currently not funded by schools and skilled trades preparation. He says they would help schools get additional funding.
Critics say the legislation is a tax break for the wealthy and would cost the state up to $100 million to implement.