LANSING, Mich. — Four state lawmakers want to take back millions in state aid from Michigan State University and Wayne State University, saying they never should have received it, according to the Detroit Free Press.

The four Republications have introduced a bill that effectively would take back $18.3 million from MSU and $12.8 million from WSU, the Free Press reported. The money was handed out as a bonus to those universities and others for keeping tuition increases below 7.1 percent this year, according to the Free Press.

But some lawmakers are angry over how the increases were calculated, the Free Press reported.

MSU and WSU both increased tuition in the summer of 2011, then counted that as last year’s rate in calculating the year-to-year tuition increase, according to the Free Press.  The dissenting lawmakers said it should be a fall-to-fall comparison, under which MSU would have raised tuition by more than 9 percent and WSU by more than 8 percent, the Free Press reported.

State budget director John Nixon said in August that the universities technically met the conditions for the extra money because “academic year” wasn’t defined in the law, according to the Free Press.

The bill to take back the money will be sent to the House appropriations committee, state Rep. Bob Genetski, R-Saugatuck, told the Free Press. MSU and WSU spokesmen told MIRS that universities already have seen significant cuts in state support.

SOURCE:

Detroit Free Press, “State House panel introduces bill seeking money from MSU, WMU,” Sept. 22, 2011

FURTHER READING:

Michigan Capitol Confidential, “MSU Tuition Restraint Debate Reaches Committee,” July 22, 2011

Michigan Capitol Confidential, “Bill Would Enforce ‘Intent’ of Tuition Hike Reform Law,” Sept. 22, 2011

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