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Bills requiring citizenship for state aid called 'unnecessary' by Universities

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A package of bills in the state house would restrict scholarships and grants using state money to only include U.S. Citizens.

But those restrictions already exist, according to officials with the Michigan Association of State Universities.

The package of bills targeted nursing scholarships,  promise grants, and postsecondary education scholarships.

Republican State Representative Eric Leutheuser is one of the sponsors on the bills. He said the bills are intended to restore the public’s trust in government.

“This I would put under the heading of legislation that is supposed to restore people’s faith in basic institutions and basic practices. Something that if you were to ask someone on the street they would say ‘of course you shouldn’t have to have a law to make that the case.’”

Daniel Hurley is with the Michigan Association of Universities. He said state scholarships already require students to provided a social security number.

“The other programs, about three or four programs, student financial aid programs that this legislation is geared towards, they haven’t even been funded for eight years.”

Sponsors on the bills say that social security numbers could be faked to apply for scholarships.

But according to Hurley the bills simply aren’t needed.

“A they aren’t funded and B when they were funded they were only eligible for permanent residents or US citizens. This set of bills is not necessary and are duplicative for that reason.”

Hurley said he hopes the increased attention on these financial aid programs could get their funding reinstated.

Sponsors on the package of bills say while rules may exist requiring citizenship, there is no law in place.