In this morning's news...
Senate Approves Welfare Cap
The Michigan Senate approved a four-year limit on cash assistance welfare benefits yesterday. The 48-month cap is part of a Republican plan to balance the state budget. Some 12,600 families are expected to begin to lose benefits on October 1st because of the new limits. Lawmakers voted along party lines: 24 Republicans voted for the measure, 12 Democrats opposed it. The Senate Fiscal Agency says the legislation will save the state $77 million. If signed into law, the new limits would be among the strictest in the Midwest.
Ford Brought Back to Grand Rapids
Betty Ford will be laid to rest this afternoon in Grand Rapids. Thousands of people paid their respects yesterday evening during visitation at the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum. Dustin Dwyer was at the museum and reports:
The sidewalk outside the Ford Museum was packed with people when the motorcade rolled by, carrying Betty Ford on her final trip home. Visitors remembered Mrs. Ford as a woman who wasn't afraid to discuss her battles with alcoholism and breast cancer. A funeral service is scheduled for 2 o’clock Thursday afternoon. Afterward, Betty Ford will be laid to rest next to her husband at the Ford Museum.
University Tuition Increases
Ferris State University trustees have voted to raise undergraduate tuition 5.14 percent, well short of a 7 percent cap that Governor Snyder has set for schools to get access to special funds, the Associated Press reports. From the AP:
Ferris is among the final state universities to set their tuition for the 2011-12 academic year. Central Michigan and Northern Michigan are expected to set their rates Thursday, and Grand Valley State is expected to decide Friday… The state is reducing its aid to the school by 15 percent, or $7.3 million.
Jennifer Guerra has a roundup of the schools that have announced tuition increases so far:
- University of Michigan: 6.7% increase for in-state undergraduates, 4.9% for out-or-state students.
- Western Michigan University: 6.6% increase
- Oakland University: 7% increase
- Saginaw Valley State: 6.9% increase
- Lake Superior State University: 6.94% increase
- Michigan Technological University: 6.95% increase
- University of Michigan-Flint: 6.8% increase