The Majority Report 12/13/15 - Acting on local funds, justice and the college funding crisis


Senate gets local money back in local hands

Senate gets local money back in local handsSenator Tom Cullerton led the successful effort to release billions of dollars in local funding for road maintenance, winter preparations and numerous other programs. The money had been tied up in Springfield because of the ongoing budget impasse. The governor signed Senate Bill 2039 releasing the funding just hours after Cullerton guided it through the Senate.

"As a former mayor, I want to make sure our local governments have what they need to keep our communities safe and services running," said Cullerton, a Democrat from Villa Park. "This is a step in the right direction. I'll continue to work with the General Assembly and governor to reach continuing compromise and put a responsible budget in place."

Safety, services >




Raoul, Black Caucus call for expanded DOJ investigation in Chicago

Raoul, Black Caucus call for expanded DOJ investigation in ChicagoState Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) and the other 31 members of the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus called for an expanded investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice into not only the Chicago Police Department, but the Independent Police Review Authority and the Office of the Cook County State's Attorney.

In a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Black Caucus members expressed support for the Justice Department's investigation into the Chicago Police Department. Caucus members asked the federal agency to expand its probe into the department's handling of all allegations of police misconduct.

DOJ examines CPD >




Martinez stresses urgency of funding college grants

Martinez stresses urgency of funding college grants"We have to pressure the governor who is holding this funding as leverage to push his non-budget related agenda. We have to tell him to stop playing games with the education of these kids," said State Senator Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) last week during an interview with Spanish-language network Univision.

Martinez spoke about the hardships thousands of low-income students face due to the lack of a state budget, particularly as the second semester without funds approaches in a few weeks.

Tuition clock is ticking >




College students face uncertain future as state stops funding financial aid

College students face uncertain future as state stops funding financial aidTrisha Rodriquez, a sophomore at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from Belvidere, came to Springfield last week to explain how unfunded MAP grants mean disappearing options for a college education.

"Without MAP grant funding some students will be forced to turn to more expensive loans and end up graduating with mountains of debt," said Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign). "It's heartbreaking to hear students' struggles as they work toward meeting their tuition costs. We need to put a budget in place to guarantee students have the services and support they need to be successful."

"It is time to stop playing political games with the futures of Illinois students," Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) said. "The legislative leaders and governor need to come together to craft a solution to provide security for students like Trisha, who have already taken on thousands of dollars of debt to better themselves through education."

Student insecurity >


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