Friday, April 22, 2016

Illinois Legislature Green Lights Emergency Short-Term Funding For Higher Education -Progress Illinois

A $600 million measure to fund the state's public higher education institutions cleared the state legislature Friday. The bill now heads to Gov. Bruce Rauner, who is expected to sign the legislation. The short-term funding bill is set to provide $356 million for public universities and $74 million for community colleges, including $20 million that is allocated for Chicago State University, which has been teetering on the brink of closure. In addition, nearly $170 million is slated to go toward the state's Monetary Award Program, which provides needs-based grants for tuition assistance to low-income college students. The bipartisan measure passed unanimously in the Senate and by a 106-2 vote in the House. "By passing this bipartisan agreement, lawmakers in both chambers put aside political differences to provide emergency assistance for higher education, ensuring universities and community colleges remain open and low-income students can pay for school," reads a statement from Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly. "We are hopeful the General Assembly will build on this bipartisan momentum in the weeks ahead as we negotiate a balanced budget with reform for Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017."

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