Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer announced today that the Senate Finance Committee will be taking up legislation tomorrow to enact the Michigan 2020 Plan, in what could be a historic first step toward making the plan to offer free college tuition a reality for high school graduates across the state.

Whitmer said "we've heard from countless economists and business leaders that our state must invest in higher education and develop the most talented workforce in the country. This plan would accomplish exactly that." She added "the committee's actions tomorrow can send a powerful message that Michigan is ready to take the next step towards growing our economy and our job market by creating a highly educated talent pool unlike anywhere else in the nation."

Under the Michigan 2020 Plan, high school graduates in Michigan, whether they attended a public, private or home school, would be eligible for an annual grant for their higher education costs. The maximum amount of the grant would be equal to the median tuition level (currently $9,575/year) of all Michigan's public universities. Student's could choose to attend any of Michigan's community colleges or public universities and use that money toward the cost of tuition, books and other eligible expenses.

Whitmer also said she's "excited to show Michigan that their Legislature can still work together on solutions that benefit our families, our students and businesses. The Michigan 2020 Plan is the right plan for our state and I appreciate the committee's interest in moving it forward. I hope this hearing is the first step in passing this innovative plan into law."

The Senate Finance Commitee hearing will take place tomorrow, Wednesday, May 2 at 12:30 p.m. in Room 210 at the Farnum Building in Lansing. The public is welcome to attend or wath the hearing online at senatedems.com.

More information on the Michigan 2020 Plan is available at www.michigan2020.com.