Sen. Rose voices concerns about HB 2691
Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) spoke out in opposition of a bill that opens up funding to more individuals for college.
House Bill 2691, sponsored by Sen. Omar Aquino (D-Chicago), creates the Retention of Illinois Students and Equity Act, known as the RISE Act, to all students who are deemed Illinois residents for tuition purposes. Rose said he was concerned with the bill's change of the cap on Monetary Award Program (MAP) funding for hours in junior college.
"There are a couple concerning things about this bill," Rose said on the Senate floor. "First and foremost, there's a 75-hour cap in place in junior college credits for MAP for a very good reason. This was done after much discussion and they developed this number because we don’t want students using a MAP grant on community college when the four-year college costs more."
Rose said expending eligibility at the community college level would cause students to run out before they even got to a four-year institution.
"The entire community came together and backed this cap," Rose said. "There ought to be some study done before we undo that because you’re telling a college kid you could run out of a MAP grant and then have nothing at the four-year level."
Rose said he was also concerned with opening up the grant to more individuals.
"Every single one of you have students — constituents — who were denied MAP funding," Rose said. "Every year applications are cut off earlier and earlier, leaving students in a lurch. Now we’ve made that worse. This bill needs a lot more thought before any of us vote for it."
The bill provides that a student attending a higher education institution in the state, is deemed an Illinois resident for tuition purposes and is not otherwise eligible to receive federal financial aid shall be eligible to apply or receive consideration for state financial aid. With this bill, approximately 3,500 more students will be eligible for MAP funding.
Fiscal notes for the bill indicate that without adding additional funding, adding new recipients would require shifting money from other recipients.
The bill passed with 35 Yes votes and 15 No votes.