Local Lawmakers respond to Gov. Rauner’s veto of MAP grant funding

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CENTRAL ILLINOIS – State Senators Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) have voiced their displeasure in reaction to Governor Rauner’s veto of a spending plan for MAP grants.

The legislation, Senate Bill 2043, would have funded the state’s Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants, as well as provided funding for community colleges, vocational training and adult education programs.

The Governor said, in regards to his veto, that approving the plan would “explode the state’s budget deficit.” His choices have caused concerns amongst lawmakers, including Senators Manar and Bennett.

Senator Bennett released a statement on Friday, February 19, saying the Governor has “let down the thousands of students relying on need-based financial assistance.”

“This isn’t a partisan issue. It’s about investing in students at Danville Area Community College, the University of Illinois and Parkland College to grow our state’s economy,” Bennett adds.

Senator Manar has already been voicing his concerns, as well as pushing for changes to the state’s education funding formula. On Friday, Manar released a statement saying he does not understand how denying funding to students in financial need helps the State. He also says students cannot afford to wait for the Governor’s demands to be met.

“They should be focused on succeeding in the classroom, not worrying over whether they can still afford to go to college,” Manar adds.

WAND News previously covered hundreds of demonstrators rallying at the Capitol to call for restoring funding for MAP grants. We will continue to provide coverage of this issue as the budget impasse continues.

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