On April 22, the House and the Senate approved a bipartisan, bicameral solution for funding higher education that was the result of cooperation and productive conversation between rank and file legislators, legislative leaders and the governor’s administration.
The Governor has indicated he will sign the stop-gap funding bill for higher education, which will help universities, colleges and community colleges remain operational through September, at which point they’ll start collecting their fall tuition money.
Senate Republicans stressed that the budget measure is fully funded—not a false promise like other bills offered by Democrat lawmakers in the past. The funding will serve as a bridge while lawmakers continue working on a full budget for the fiscal year. The challenges aren’t over, but legislators from both parties noted the agreement is indicative of an interest from Illinois’ leaders to resolve the state’s issues.
Senate Bill 2059 contains funding from the Education Assistance Fund. Community colleges will receive more than $74 million; funding for MAP grants tops $169 million; and the Math and Science Academy will receive $6 million.
The Senate also passed Senate Bill 2047, which appropriates $600 million from the Education Assistance Fund to higher education and $441 million from the Commitment to Human Service Fund to help pay for critical human service programs. This proposal is currently pending in the Illinois House of Representatives.