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Governor vetoes MAP, community college funding for Illinois students

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Senate Democrats reacted to Gov. Rauner's late Friday veto of Senate Bill 2043, funding for Illinois college students:

 

Statement from Senate President John Cullerton regarding Gov. Rauner’s veto of SB2043, legislation that gave the governor the spending authority to honor his administration’s commitments to the student financial aid program known as the Monetary Award Program.

“I’m disappointed in the governor. He had a chance to back up his promises with funding. Instead, he let these students down, again. I don’t understand how he can propose funding student financial aid on Wednesday, and then turn around and veto it on Friday.”

The Senate President will discuss with fellow Senate Democrats what steps to take next regarding the legislation.


On Friday afternoon, Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed a spending plan that would have funded the state’s Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants that go to college students who need help paying for school. State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill) and his colleagues approved the legislation late last month.

"I don't understand how denying needy college students access to financial aid turns our state around," said Manar.  “The governor had the opportunity to make some changes to the proposal, which would have given the legislature a chance to find a middle ground. His actions today showed no willingness to compromise.”

Last year, MAP provided funding for roughly 128,000 students. The average family income for a student receiving MAP is $30,000 per year, and 57 percent of MAP recipients are the first in their families to attend college.

The legislation, Senate Bill 2043, also provided funding for community colleges, vocational training and adult education programs.

“Students that rely on MAP grants can’t afford to wait until the governor gets all of his demands before the funding is released,” Manar said. “They should be focused on succeeding in the classroom, not worrying over whether they can still afford to go to college.”


Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) today reacted to news of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of funding for Illinois’ Monetary Award Program, which provides tuition assistance for college low- and middle-income students:

“Today, Gov. Rauner turned his back on thousands of Illinois college students who were counting on him to fulfill the promise he made to them to provide tuition assistance. The governor’s disregard for higher education apparently knows no limits,” Harmon said.


State Sen. Linda Holmes issued the following statement after Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed funding for Monetary Award Program grants for college students this afternoon.

“Denying students this aid is undermining their hard work and putting universities in an impossible position,” Holmes said. “Our students and our state can’t afford to wait for these funds any longer.”


Statement from State Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton) regarding Gov. Rauner’s veto of SB2043, legislation that gave the governor the spending authority to honor his administration’s commitments to the student financial aid program known as the Monetary Award Program.

“I am disappointed in the governor. He had a chance to help students who are struggling economically and give them the chance to work toward a better and brighter future,” said Forby. “It is important we continue to work for Illinois students so they can be competitive in the workforce. I wish the governor would have seen eye to eye with us on this one.” 


State Sen. Melinda Bush, D-Grayslake, issued the following statement on news Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed Monetary Award Program grant funding this afternoon.

“It is unconscionable that the governor continues to hold hostage the futures of college students who now need to weigh whether or not to drop out of school,” Bush said. “Today has set a horrible example to every student who has been told to work hard and achieve, even though their family may struggle financially.”


Statement from State Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton) regarding Gov. Rauner’s veto of SB2043, legislation that gave the governor the spending authority to honor his administration’s commitments to the student financial aid program known as the Monetary Award Program.

“There are many students who rely on MAP grants for their college tuition,” said Haine. “Today the governor had the chance to ensure students have the opportunity to have access to a quality education. I am disappointed to see him veto this important legislation, and I am disappointed for these students and their families.”


On behalf of recipients of MAP grants, State Senator Donne Trotter released the following statement in response to the governor’s veto of scholarship funding.

“Today, the governor added yet another obstacle impeding the path of many of our smart, talented scholars who chose to stay in Illinois. He heard from his constituents and received thousands of petitions urging him to prioritize our state’s youth.

“Today’s students face skyrocketing unemployment, diminishing opportunities and unprecedented student loan debt. Vetoing MAP funding is a slap in the face of the very students who will soon fuel our economic engine.”


Senator Ira I. Silverstein (D-Chicago) released the following statement regarding Gov. Rauner’s veto of SB2043 that would fund student financial aid and community colleges:

“I am stunned that the governor continues to stand in the way of Illinois college students who need Monetary Award Program financial aid grants and their higher education institutions funded. The state made a commitment that he is refusing to hold up. Illinois can’t grow and prosper if we can’t invest in education above the 12th grade level.”


State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) issued the statement below following Gov. Rauner’s veto of MAP grant funds.

“It’s disappointing that two days after the governor identified education as his top priority, he vetoed funds that give 120,000 students an opportunity to go to college. We have to fund these grants to give Illinois students a chance at a better future.”

Statement from State Senator Napoleon Harris (D-Harvey) regarding Governor Rauner’s veto of SB2043, legislation that gave the governor the spending authority to honor his administration’s commitments to the student financial aid program known as the Monetary Award Program.

“It’s embarrassing that we have to fight our governor to get funding for a program that helps put poor students through school. The governor is out of touch with reality. Students in need, especially those at Chicago State, need this program to escape poverty, violence and trouble. It’s time Governor Rauner steps away from his political agenda and stops forcing people to suffer. It’s reckless.”


State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) issued the following statement in regard to Gov. Rauner’s veto of Senate Bill 2043 (MAP grant funding):

“Today, the governor has let down the thousands of students relying on need-based financial assistance at our state’s community colleges and universities. This isn’t a partisan issue. It’s about investing in students at Danville Area Community College, the University of Illinois and Parkland College to grow our state’s economy.”


State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) issued the following statement in regard to Gov. Rauner’s veto of Senate Bill 2043 (MAP grant funding):

"Gov. Rauner is wrong to make 125,000 low-income college students the latest victims of his avoidance behavior. He needs to think about others, stop dodging the obvious, and concentrate on negotiating a budget.  A BUDGET."


Senate Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) issued the following statement in response to Gov. Rauner’s veto of higher education funding, Senate Bill 2043:

I’m disheartened by the governor’s decision. He’s once again demonstrated that giving students an opportunity to receive an affordable higher education isn’t a priority to him.


"The governor added to the uncertainty for our college students, higher institutions and communities. It's deplorable how he can turn his back despite hearing hundreds of young scholars voice their concerns over critical funding for MAP grant,” said Majority Caucus Whip Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago)


Senator Bill Cunningham had the following statement in response to the governor’s veto of SB 2043: “The governor had an opportunity with this legislation to keep the state’s promise to send this money to the students who need it most. Now is not the time to be breaking our promises and continuing to damage our state’s credibility,” said Senator Cunningham. 

Cunningham represents Saint Xavier University and Moraine Valley Community College. Saint Xavier University students this year were eligible to receive over $8 million dollars in MAP grants. Moraine Valley Community College students were eligible to receive $2.4 million dollars in MAP grants.


State Senator William Delgado (D-Chicago) released the following statement after the governor vetoed legislation that would have funded the state’s Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants.

"I attended his State of the State address with hope that he was serious in working together. Today this governor continues to systematically sabotage state government,” said Delgado. “As the Chairman of the Education committee, if we are going to fund education, MAP grants must be a component.”

“When he reached out his hand, I didn't expect him to slap our most valuable assets in job creation. We must take every step we can to help our working class students stay in school and contribute to an educated workforce,” Delgado said.


“The governor’s veto sends a clear message that he doesn’t care about qualified students who need help achieving a quality education,” said Senator Emil Jones III, Chairman of the Senate Black Caucus.  “Minority students are disproportionally low-income. The MAP grant helps close the achievement gap between low-income black and white students. The Governor is out of control, and this is another instance that exemplifies his inability to lead Illinois in the right direction.”

Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) today reacted to news of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of funding for Illinois’ Monetary Award Program, which provides tuition assistance for college low- and middle-income students:

“Today, Gov. Rauner vetoed Senate Bill 2043, which would have provided a lifeline to the 130,000 low-income students who rely on the MAP grant, as well as to Illinois’ cash-strapped community college system. The governor indicated that rather than fund these programs without a dedicated revenue source, he would prefer that the General Assembly pass a bill that gives him the authority to find the money elsewhere in state government.

“A better approach would be for him to propose a balanced budget of his own, with a clear spending plan and adequate revenues to pay for it. For some reason, Gov. Rauner refused to do this during his budget address Wednesday, but as far as I'm concerned, late would be better than never.”

State Senator Steve Stadelman (D – Rockford) released the statement below following Governor Rauner’s MAP grant veto:

“It’s disappointing and confusing that two days after the governor announced education as his top priority, he vetoed funding that would have helped Rock Valley College and given 120,000 Illinois students the opportunity to go to college.

“The governor already signed the largest education bill for K-12 students in state history, he needs to show the same support for college students.”

 

Senate Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) issued the following statement in response to Gov. Rauner’s veto of higher education funding, Senate Bill 2043:

Shame on the governor for once again demonstrating that he cares nothing about whether or not students in Illinois can afford to go to college. His inability to understand how his decisions are harming higher education in Illinois is appalling.