Source: The State News
On January 22, 2004 The State News reported, "A package of bills passed by the state Senate on Tuesday might qualify theology, divinity and religious education students for state scholarships, but MSU students will not be affected. Michigan law prevents religious education students from receiving such funds, but the package, which includes seven bills, would make them eligible. Several scholarship and grant programs, including the Michigan Merit Award Scholarship, could face change if the bills are adopted. 'The aim was to correct what looked like discrimination,' said state Sen. Virg Bernero, D-Lansing, who co-sponsored one of the bills. 'To me, the equal protection claims outweighed the claims for separation of church and state.' State Sen. Jason Allen, R-Traverse City, the primary sponsor of three of the bills, said scholarship restrictions are unnecessary."