Bennett presses governor to support college funding bill
State Sen. Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is calling on Gov. Bruce Rauner to support a bill advanced by the Senate that would help colleges weather the ongoing budget battle and provide support to students.
Without a finalized budget, the state is unable to continue providing Monetary Award Program (MAP) funds to its public colleges and universities. These funds often support need-based student aid. Bennett said Senate Bill 2226 would allocate a small amount of MAP funds by moving money to schools through the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.
“Without crucial need-based funding, students will either be forced to drop out of school or consider expensive loans," Bennett said. "There needs to be a budget in place to guarantee students have the services and support they need to be successful.”
State Sen. Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago) said restoring MAP funds is also important because of the broader significance the funds have in the state's overall economy.
“We need to consider the economic impact this has on institutions and the economy,” Cunningham said. “The longer these schools go without MAP grant funding, the more likely potential layoffs and pay cuts become. Some colleges and universities are economic drivers, and yet the governor decided to let them go without, which only multiplies the damage done to our state.”
The bill has been approved by the Senate. Further action depends on a House vote.
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