SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Senate has voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of hundreds of millions of dollars for higher education.
The 37-17 vote Wednesday sends the override action to the House. It would authorize spending $397 million for the income-based Monetary Award Program for needy college students and $324 million to help finance community colleges.
Republican Rauner vetoed the measure because there isn't enough money to cover the cost. He has bickered with Democrats who control the Legislature, and there's still no budget for the fiscal year that began July 1.
“SB 2043 can only become law if Representative Franks or Representative Drury succumb to pressure from Speaker Madigan and flip their votes to force a massive tax hike on the people of Illinois," said Catherine Kelly, Press Secretary for Governor Rauner. "These members sided with taxpayers the first time around because this is a sham bill and an empty promise to students. We believe these members will do the right thing to ensure taxpayers are not left holding the bag. All of us want to fund higher education and MAP, and we stand ready to work with the General Assembly to find ways to do so without adding to the deficit or forcing a massive tax increase.”
Many colleges covered MAP funding for thousands of students during the fall semester but some said they wouldn't be able to continue this spring. Four-year colleges have received no state money this year because of the stalemate.