Lotto would cover college costs

DETROIT - Super lotto games would help cover college costs for all Michigan residents under a proposal introduced this week by state Rep. Fred Durhal, D-Detroit, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Under Durhal's plan, all tuition costs would be covered through the proceeds from a new super lotto game played three times a year, plus voluntary donations from income tax checkoffs, donations from corporations and nonprofit organizations, and a 1 percent tax on gross receipts from Michigan casinos, the Free Press reported. Assistance would be given to all students who have lived in Michigan at least five years.

Durhal told reporters that $1.7 billion would be needed for the first four years of the plan, the Free Press reported. He said that a better-educated workforce would help the Michigan economy, but that college currently isn't affordable for most people.

American Indian-owned casinos now pay an 8.1 percent state tax on revenue, according to the Free Press.

To ensure that money raised for college tuition would not be used for other purposes, Durhal also proposed a constitutional amendment, the Free Press reported.

Detroit Free Press, "Lotto could fund plan for free tuition," Sept. 15, 2009

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "State College Money Should Follow Students, Not Lobbyists," May 15, 2006