Too often in Lansing, we hear the phrase “Michigan can’t.” Whether it’s investing in our education, helping unemployed workers, or rebuilding our communities, the answer from the Snyder administration is inevitably: “Michigan can’t.”
Suggesting that we can’t create investment and can’t move our state forward signals the idea that Michigan is already defeated, but even worse, it also runs contrary to what every economist and business leader from across the nation say is necessary to get our state back on track.
As Lou Glazer, President of Michigan Future Inc said, “The choice we face is, do we do what is required to build the assets needed to compete in the knowledge-based economy or do we accept being a low prosperity state?”
In other words, we either continue the “race to the bottom” mentality that has dominated decision making in Michigan for years, or we reinvest in the future of our people and our state.
As study after study emphasizes the importance of a highly educated workforce in the economic vitality of any state in the 21st Century, the Senate Democrats have unveiled the Michigan 2020 Plan, a proposal that marks a significant investment in Michigan’s future by positioning our state as a leader in higher education and workforce development.
Under the plan, Michigan high school graduates would be eligible to have tuition and associated costs paid for at one of Michigan’s public community colleges or universities, creating a pact with our K-12 students that invests in their future as well as the future of our state by developing the highest educated workforce in the nation.
The best part about the plan? It doesn’t raise taxes one cent.
You can read the details of the Michigan 2020 plan online at michigan2020.com and learn more about how it works and how it’s fully paid for.
Unfortunately, even as the details of the plan were first announced, the familiar phrase “Michigan can’t” came quickly from the Governor’s office in response. It’s time for Michigan to challenge that thinking and tell Governor Snyder that Michigan CAN move forward and MUST move forward.
Or, as Senate Democratic Leader Gretchen Whitmer said, “It’s time for us to be bold and there’s no better place for us to start than by giving each and every child in Michigan the chance to compete in the 21st Century job market. It’s not about whether Michigan can afford to do this, it’s whether we can afford not to.”