December 7, 2021

Petition aims to dodge Whitmer veto for Student Opportunity Scholarship

A ballot question committee aims to gather enough signatures to enact the Student Opportunity Scholarship legislation passed last month by the Michigan legislature. It’s anticipated those bills will be vetoed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Let MI Kids Learn (LMKL) will aim to collect more than 340,000 valid signatures from registered voters for each of the two bills in the Student Opportunity Scholarship package. Upon certification of the signatures by the Board of State Canvassers next year, the House and Senate could enact this veto-proof reform.

The House and Senate each sent Whitmer identical bills. House Bills 54045405 and Senate Bills 687688 would provide Education Savings Accounts for eligible students, which could be spent on tutors, transportation, textbooks, mental and physical health, speech and other therapies, skilled trade, and career education costs.

“This exciting legislation gives new opportunities to learn to children, and new choices to tens of thousands of Michigan parents,” Let MI Kids Learn spokesman Fred Wszolek said in a statement. “But Governor Whitmer stands in the schoolhouse door with her veto pen, determined to strip families of any choice, and deny children the money they deserve for educational opportunities. We’re just as determined to veto Whitmer’s veto with our petition.”

LMKL will soon present draft petitions to the Bureau of Elections for approval as to form by the Board of State Canvassers, and for approval of the 100-word summary language for each of the proposals. Signature collection will commence immediately upon approval. LMKL will have 180 days to collect sufficient signatures from registered voters.

“The passage of this legislation was a test for Governor Whitmer: she could stand with families and children, or she could stand with special interests,” sponsor of the legislation, Rep. Bryan Posthumus, R-Cannon Twp, said in a statement. “Sadly, but predictably, Whitmer chose the special interests – as she always has. But Michigan’s constitution gives voters a recourse, and our petition drive will allow voters to expand opportunities for children, even if Whitmer won’t.”

Whitmer’s office hasn’t responded to a request for comment.

This article was originally posted on Petition aims to dodge Whitmer veto for Student Opportunity Scholarship