Legislation now awaits governor’s signature

LANSING, Mich. — Legislation to make Flint a Promise Zone received its last legislative vote this morning when it passed out of the Michigan Senate with wide bipartisan support. The bill, sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D–Flint), expands the current number of Promise Zones from 10 to 15, allowing new communities to participate in a program that is proven to boost student achievement and attract new residents.

“The Flint Promise brings hope to our community,” Sen. Ananich said. “This sends a message to our kids that they are worth the investment, and that their city supports them. As a high school teacher, I knew too many young people with potential who never pursued higher education simply because of the cost. Now, any student who graduates and works hard to get into college can achieve that dream without stressing over the price tag.”

Sen. Ananich has been working on making Flint a Promise Zone since his time on Flint City Council. He and state Representative Sheldon Neeley (D—Flint), submitted the application while serving on City Council together, but it was shelved due to the cap on the number of Promise Zones that can exist. Once Senate Bill 98 is signed into law, Flint will be able to become a Promise Zone, in addition to four other communities.

“It’s been a long road to see this finally happen,” Sen. Ananich said. “Across the state we have seen communities reap the benefits of a Promise Zone, from more students aiming for college, to the economic boost of having a more educated workforce. Flint is going to feel the positive impact of this in profound and tangible ways.”

Senate Bill 98 now heads to the governor’s office where it awaits his signature.

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