Michigan lawmakers have given initial approval to a higher education budget that includes a nearly 6 percent funding increase and limits tuition hikes to no more than 3.2 percent.
A House-Senate conference committee on Thursday voted 6-0 for the plan. The move came as Gov. Rick Snyder and Republican legislative leaders continued working to sign a broader agreement to finalize the $50 billion-plus state budget that begins in October. State funding for university operations would rise 5.9 percent next year, slightly less than Snyder's proposed 6.1 percent boost. Schools would get bigger increases and others smaller increases depending on graduation rates and other performance benchmarks.
Republican Rep. Al Pscholka of Stevensville helped craft the university budget. He says it makes a "strategic reinvestment'' in higher education after years of cuts.