Governor Whitmer announced a new form of coronavirus aid at the end of April, a program that would provide tuition-free college for essential workers. Dubbed the “Futures for Frontliners” program, the legislation is not set in stone, and passage of the act rests entirely on it passing through the Michigan legislature.
It should be noted that while the coronavirus aid proposed under the “Futures for Frontliners” Program exists as a proposal, no written form of the legislation is available yet outside of the governor’s statements.
Our frontliners have risked their lives for our communities during the #COVID19 crisis. Today, I announced the “Futures for Frontliners” program to provide a tuition-free pathway to college or a technical certificate for essential workers who don’t have a college degree. pic.twitter.com/PLg6OLEj4Y
— Governor Gretchen Whitmer (@GovWhitmer) April 29, 2020
When proposing the coronavirus aid to the Michigan Legislature, Governor Whitmer is quoted as stating, “The Futures for Frontliners program is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to those who have risked their lives on the front lines of this crisis. This program will ensure tuition-free college opportunities and give these dedicated Michiganders an opportunity to earn a technical certificate, associate degree or even a bachelor’s degree, I want to assure all of our workers we will never forget those of you who stepped up and sacrificed their own health during this crisis. You’re the reason we’re going to get through this.”
Functioning similarly to the already existing G.I Bill, the coronavirus aid offered through the program would allow workers such as janitors, grocery store workers and other forms of essential workers to attend college tuition-free. Whitmer briefly mentioned that the program would be funded through federal grant money.
While it’s not clear how the program would work, Govoner Whitmer did recently sign the Michigan Reconnect Program into law, which provides access to grants and scholarships for adults over 25 who do not currently possess a college degree and who are seeking post-secondary education. Thus, given the history, such legislation does have a possibility of passing.
However, as the governor is focused on her response efforts to COVID-19, there is no specific date or timeframe on when the “Futures for Frontliners” Program could see enactment.
“No Michigander should have to worry about how to feed their family or pay rent during a crisis. And no Michigander should be scared to go to work,” added Governor Whitmer when further discussing coronavirus aid. “From the beginning, my team and I have been working around the clock to solve those problems for working families. And I will continue to fight for our working people long after this crisis is over.”
Future updates on the matter of the coronavirus aid will be provided as they are released. Read more about the “Futures for Frontliners” Program here.