Massachusetts Governor Wants Free College

( – The Governor of Massachusetts wants taxpayers to foot the bill for community college for all state residents, as part of her $20 million budget proposal.

Maura Healey appears to be trying to make good on a campaign promise to have taxpayers cover the cost of community college for all state residents 25 or older. She said the state had “an incredible opportunity” to train future workers and “increase opportunities” during a speech at Bunker Hill Community College.

Healey is joined by Karen Spilka, Democratic Senate President, who also wants taxpayer-funded community college for anyone who wants it.

Healey claims her proposal would help almost 2 million state residents who have high school diplomas or the equivalent. They would be able to get a college education without “crushing debt,” she said.

If approved, Healey’s plan would pay the cost of tuition, fees, books, and other ancillary services.

While such programs are usually described as “free,” someone has to pay for them. In such cases, this is not “free” to the taxpayers.

Calling the college plan “MassReconnect,” the initiative would also pay for other unspecified support services for education and career placement.

The last time numbers were calculated in July 2020, about 696,000 Massachusetts residents already have some college credits under their belt, but no final degree.

Some think the plan doesn’t go far enough; they want “free” college for those who have already graduated. That is, they want graduates to be paid back for whatever they spent on their education.

In response, Healey said she was “open to supporting anything” that “created more accessibility” for college education.

The college plan was only the first part of Healey’s overall budget proposal—her first as governor—she released on February 4th. The governor also proposed nearly $1 billion in changes to the state’s tax code. These changes aim to help middle and low-income residents, with some provisions favorable to businesses.

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