More than 100 gathered Wednesday to hear the governor speak about the promise scholarship at Michigan State University as she tries to lobby to restore funding. Governor Granholm says, "It is very clear that this promise has been broken and we must restore the promise."
The governor promoted a plan to save the scholarship through slowing the earned income tax credit. She says, "The earned income tax credit is valued at 160 million, but I wouldn't say get rid of the entire increase, you could raise it still, still see an increase in the earned income tax credit of 12.5% and use the balance to restore the promise scholarship. The promise scholarship is valued at about 100 million."
Michigan State University Junior Michael Lipphardt says he's already feeling the loss of $1,000 a year. He says, "It's actually really terrible, I've had to pick up a 2nd job in order to pay the tuition I lost as a result of it."
MSU Student, Jessica Orr says,"I was getting like 2,500 for it a year. It actually helped me a lot because I come from a really down family and in order for for me to even take out loans it's really hard, a big huge ordeal, so that was seriously just covering the rest of my tuition for this year, until I can get on my feet and now that's gone."
Orr and most of the students supported the funding fight. However, Orr says she and her friends were upset by the political tone of some of the speeches. She said they turned their backs in protest.
Student Gabriela Alcazar says, "I think there was a lot of shifting of blame and nobody wanting to really take responsibility to take action. They're trying to tell us that it's our responsibility as students to do their job."
Student Griffin Sharp wants his promise scholarship funding restored as well. But, he'd like to see changes in the way the state manages its money. Sharp says, "We need to address the real problems in the state and that means Medicaid that means public employee benefits."
Lipphardt says, "I'm going to continue to protest. I'm going to continue to speak out I've called my state senator multiple times. I'm going to continue to lobby them and the house and make sure they're talking to their stuff and them individually, emailing calling them, mailing them, making sure they're making it a top issue."
Meanwhile, the Governor says to fund the scholarship, she needs help. Granholm says, "The chances are not good if it's me by myself, but the chances are much better if the citizens rise up and say, we demand the promise restored."
The governor plans to head to Central Michigan University on Thursday to again ask students to join in the fight to fund the scholarship.