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McGuire: University bond ratings rise as state budget approved, damage to state universities can begin to heal

mcguire 020817SPRINGFIELD — In light of an approved state budget that includes funding for state universities and Monetary Award Grants for college students, S&P Global Ratings announced it has upgraded the bond ratings of four Illinois universities and has taken three other universities off of its watch list for a potential downgrade.

Illinois Senate Higher Education Committee Chairman Pat McGuire said it’s the first sign of the road to fiscal recovery that universities face in the wake of a 736-day budget impasse that saw layoffs, program closures and students worrying over whether the financial aid the state had promised them would ever be paid.

Bush urges Rauner to sign legislative pay freeze to avoid higher special session costs

wagefreezeSPRINGFIELD – Special session could cost taxpayers more money if the governor fails to sign legislation to freeze reimbursements.

“There’s a bill sitting on the governor’s desk that would freeze pay rates and reimbursements for legislators. It’s been on his desk since June 29,” said Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake), sponsor of the legislation. “The governor’s special sessions are needlessly expensive, costing taxpayers upwards of $48,000 each day. If the governor doesn’t sign this bill, the special sessions he’s demanding become even more expensive.”

Haine stands up for local homeowners

haine 032117SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Bill Haine (D-Alton) filed legislation today to correct a flaw currently in state law that can exempt gun ranges from noise complaints. Haine filed the proposal after he was contacted by several homeowners in close proximity to a Godfrey-area gun range called Trigger Talent.

The gun range has refused to comply with noise modifications despite the numerous complaints from local residents.

Rauner making demands on TV when he should be building bridges with lawmakers

stock presserSPRINGFIELD – Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) issued the following statement in response to Gov. Rauner’s media event in central Illinois today:

“Gov. Rauner should be building bridges with lawmakers so that he can become the governor who finally signs education funding reform into law. But instead of seizing the chance to cement his legacy as a reformer, he’s making demands in front of TV cameras.

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