LANSING, Mich. — Early on July 1, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the state legislature reached a deal on a balanced, bipartisan state budget for fiscal year 2023.

Statement from Michigan College Access Network Executive Director Ryan Fewins-Bliss:

"It was great this morning to wake up to a budget deal that empowers and supports students to earn certificates and degrees at institutions across the state, all while acquiring less debt.

Employers of all shapes and sizes are telling us they need more workers with degrees and certificates and they need them now. Michigan has seen a drop of more than 50,000 college students since the beginning of the pandemic. We must come together as a state to ramp up production of degrees and certificates to fill the economic needs of Michigan’s workforce.

The funds appropriated in the state’s FY23 budget will help us do just that. The investments in our K-12 school districts and higher education institutions, in particular, will go a long way to help address Michigan’s talent crisis.

In addition to a $3 million appropriation for MCAN, we are thrilled to see new and expanded funding for financial aid, the reaffirmation of the state’s attainment goal of Sixty by 30, and reinforcement of community infrastructure that will help students successfully complete college."