Lawmakers Draft Legislation to Create Emergency Funding for Higher Education

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Springfield - The month of March starts the ninth month of the fiscal year, and the state is still without a budget.

That's put universities, community colleges, and MAP grant recipients in a tough spot.

However, there is a bill out there that would create emergency funding for the state's four most dire universities right now.
    
On that list is Chicago State University, Eastern Illinois University, Northeastern Illinois University, and Western Illinois University.

Democrat Ken Dunkin (D-Chicago), and Republican Reggie Phillips (R-Charleston) are pushing for the legislation.

In it is roughly $160M would be made available for those universities facing potential closures and even more layoffs, as well as $40M for struggling community colleges.

It would allow the General Assembly to sweep funds to ensure colleges stay open.

Dunkin said that, "it's inexcusable for this bill not to move that will restore $160M, plus $40M for some of our struggling community colleges."

"The most important part of this, the governor has already agreed that he will sign this into law.  So we will have the funding and we can stop the out-flow of students from our great state into other states," added Phillips.

On Wednesday, lawmakers are expected to vote on an override of a bill vetoed by the governor that would have funded community colleges and MAP grants, but not state universities.

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