Lawmakers decide against docking MSU $500k for labor courses

MSU brick entrance sign on Kalamazoo Street.State lawmakers have backed down from penalizing Michigan State University over controversial courses about organized labor. The half-(m) million dollar fine was taken out of a budget bill approved this week in the Legislature.

Lawmakers say public universities should not be in the business of encouraging labor disputes. And earlier this year, they said that’s exactly what a program hosted by MSU did.

David Bertram is a spokesperson for the university. He says legislators decided against the 500 thousand dollar fine after learning more about the program.

“As we’ve made the rounds and talked to a number of members, I think as we give them all information, I think there’s fewer concerns than were originally raised.”

Bertram says the program consists of seminars for groups hoping to learn more about union organizing. It is not open to regular undergraduate or graduate students.