Proposed legislation would prevent universities from paying speakers with public funds

SPRINGFIELD - State lawmakers are considering a proposal that would prevent public universities from using public funds to pay for commencement speakers.

According to the legislation's sponsor, State Representative Reggie Phillips, some schools pay between "$30,000 and $50,000" for commencement speakers, and that this proposal could help save money.  Phillips also says that universities could attempt to find private funding to pay for commencement speakers.

However, other lawmakers oppose the plan.  State Representative Chris Welch says the proposal micromanages funds, and that public university presidents are already required to explain proposed budgets to state lawmakers.

A House committee passed the legislation with the condition that it be revised to clarify the impact it would have of community colleges and other speeches, and brought back before the committee before being submitted to the full House.
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