Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has vetoed Republican-led bills that would have created tax breaks for private school education in Michigan.
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In her veto letter, Whitmer said that the legislation “would require Michigan taxpayers to foot the bill for any money a person gives to certain private education organizations, costing as much as $500 million in 2022 alone.”
“Simply put, our schools cannot provide the high-quality education our kids deserve if we turn private schools into tax shelters for the wealthy,” Whitmer wrote.
Supporters, on the other hand, say the legislation is about giving students and families more choice over their educational options. They are ready to make an attempt to get around the governor’s veto.
The new group Let MI Kids Learn is planning a petition initiative, which could send its proposal to the Republican-controlled state Legislature if it gets about 340,000 valid signatures. If the Legislature passes the measure with a simple majority, it becomes law. The governor would not need to sign the legislation and could not veto it.
“I spoke with Fred Wszolek who’s the spokesperson for this effort earlier this week,” says Jackson. “And he kind of just alluded to something that’s already been becoming more and more clear that, for Republican priorities, especially ones that Democrats won’t sign on to during divided government, this seems to be the preferred way of getting those done.”
Jackson says the group hopes to start gathering signatures around December 1.