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Forby’s facility tours highlight how budget disproportionately effects Southern Illinois

forby map training centerState Senator Forby (D-Benton) toured several rehabilitation and healthcare facilities to discuss the consequences Southern Illinois faces if Governor Rauner doesn’t work with legislators to pass a budget. Senator Forby listened to suggestions from the community affected by the budget so he can bring their recommendations to Springfield.  

“Governor Rauner is holding the budget process hostage in exchange for proposals in his wage-killing turnaround agenda,” Senator Forby said.

Tom Cullerton reacts to Breuder firing

tcull narcanVILLA PARK- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) released a statement in response to the College of DuPage trustees’ vote to fire President Robert Breuder:

“Given what we've learned, trustees should have pursued this from the beginning. They could have spared this community, this institution, taxpayers and students a lot of embarrassment. But since we don’t have a time machine, I suppose it’s better late than never.”

Hastings shares students' concern over cuts to universities

hutch hastings govstateTINLEY PARK- As lawmakers returned to Springfield for Tuesday’s session, so did bus loads of college students. They came to the capital to discuss their concerns over the cuts to higher education that the governor has proposed. The dramatic cuts to state universities and MAP grants could cause tuition rates and class sizes to rise, as well as force colleges to cut staff and administrative positions.  

State Senator Michael Hastings (D-Tinley Park) had the opportunity to speak with students from Governor’s State University, located near the 19th district.

“Governor’s State is an incredible university that prides itself on offering affordable tuition. If these cuts are implemented that would severely limit their ability to continue offering it,” Hastings said. “Cutting funding to universities would absolutely devastate the higher education system in Illinois.”

This year, Senator Hastings and his colleagues voted multiple times to fund Illinois universities and MAP grants, but all of these measures failed to be signed into law.

Students visit Senator Mulroe, make plea for MAP Grant Funding (AUDIO)

mulroe highed map groupSPRINGFIELD – Students from across the state visited the state capitol building today to encourage legislators to fully fund the higher education and MAP Grant line items for the FY16 budget. Victoria Prince is a University of Illinois student from Chicago. As a MAP Grant recipient, she was one of the students on hand today at the capitol to explain her need for MAP grants.

“My freshman year I received almost $5,000 from the MAP Grant,” Prince said. “It really helped me afford school and I don’t think I would have selected to stay in state without it. I know a lot of stories about how tuition out of state is better just because they have more financial aid than Illinois is currently providing; so that’s why I think higher education is so important, to keep a lot of students in Illinois and keep up Illinois’ economy.”

State colleges and universities have been fronting the bill for MAP Grants for the first semester of the school year, but college and university presidents have advised the General Assembly that their facilities can no longer shoulder that burden as they move into the spring semester.

Senator John Mulroe (D-Chicago) was an early advocate for higher education funding in the spring.

“As the son of an immigrant, I understand first-hand how difficult it is to pay for higher education,” Mulroe said. “Unfortunately, times have changed and you simply cannot work and go to college anymore. These kids are working two to three jobs on top of the financial aid they receive. We can’t break our promise to them.”

The General Assembly passed HB 4146, but the measure was vetoed by the governor. A second funding measure, SB2043 remains in the House.

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