The Illinois General Assembly approved two pieces of bipartisan, fully-funded legislation on Friday, April 22 to provide a bridge to Illinois’ universities, community colleges, and MAP grant recipients. Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) said with the Governor’s approval, Illinois will ensure its public universities and community colleges remain open and students receive Money Award Program funding for college.
A second measure now pending in the House would do the same for critical human services. Both measures have the necessary funding to support the spending.
“Very importantly, every bit of spending in this bill is paid for – both higher ed and human services. That is the model we are trying to achieve – that is the sort of reset in budgeting we need for this state,” said Radogno in the debate on the Senate floor.
SB 2059 has passed in both chambers of the General Assembly and advances to Governor Rauner’s desk where it is expected to receive final approval. Governor Rauner and his Administration participated in the discussions leading to the passage of the fully funded proposal. The proposal is considered a stopgap effort that will get universities through until September, when they will begin to collect tuition dollars.
Senate Bill 2047 which also unanimously passed the Senate, provides the same funding to Illinois’ universities, community colleges and MAP grants but takes the next step to include funding for human service providers, seniors, veterans programs, and programs like Adult Redeploy that are vital to the state’s criminal justice reform efforts. Unlike previous measures offered by Democrat lawmakers, this bipartisan compromise legislation is also fully funded. It must still be considered in the Illinois House
“These stopgap measures relieve some pressure, but we still have a lot of work to do,” said Radogno adding, “I do think we deserve some credit for coming together in a bipartisan fashion. I certainly appreciate the communication we have had with the Senate Democrats, and hope this is the beginning of a more fruitful avenue that we go down in terms of solving the entire problem.”