McGuire

  • 031016CM0079SPRINGFIELD — With nearly the entire academic year passed, thousands of college students in Illinois who rely upon Monetary Award Program grants will finally be made whole, thanks to legislation passed by the Illinois Senate today.

    House Bill 4167 authorizes the spending of $227 million for MAP grants for the 2015-16 academic year. When coupled with Senate Bill 2059, which was signed into law last month, the bills represent the original appropriation for MAP in the 2016 budget year. State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet), who has been on the forefront of the fight for MAP funding, was a chief co-sponsor of HB 4167.

    “Last week I was at the commencements of Joliet Junior College and Governors State University. Both schools have many students awaiting the full amount of need-based financial aid the state promised them,” said McGuire, chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee. “Passage of HB 4167 gets us two-thirds of the way toward keeping our word to these students. The governor now has the opportunity to take the final step.”

    Without a proper higher education budget in place, colleges and universities fronted MAP money to students during the first semester. But a number of schools indicated that they couldn’t continue doing so for the second semester, leaving students to choose whether to go deeper into debt with more student loans or quit school altogether.

    “Making almost 130,000 needy college students uncertain if they can continue their education makes Illinois’ future uncertain,” McGuire said. “Let’s wise up, support hard work and ambition, and fully fund MAP grants.”

    HB 4167, having passed the House earlier this week, now goes to the governor’s desk.

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  • 042116CM1186SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Senate passed legislation today to help shore up Illinois’ desperate human services systems.

    State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) voted to release more than $700 million to local government and non-profit agencies that provide services such as mental health care, drug addiction treatment and home-delivered meals for seniors. McGuire is a co-sponsor of the measure, SB 2038, which passed the Senate on a 55-0 vote.

    “Tens of thousands of Will County residents who faced the loss of essential services will benefit from today’s action,” McGuire said. “Just as with recent funding for higher education, Democrats and Republicans came together. But just as with the higher education measure, this human services measure provides less than half of what the General Assembly one year ago authorized the governor to devote to helping people. We must keep working.”

    Having passed both the House and Senate, SB 2038 awaits the governor’s signature.

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  • Senator Pat McGuireSPRINGFIELD — State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) joined members of the Senate Downstate Caucus on Tuesday in support of a measure that more equitably funds Illinois’ public schools.

    The Downstate Caucus held a press conference to brief reporters about Senate Bill 231, sponsored by State Senator Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), which changes a nearly 20-year-old formula for how the state distributes its funding for K-12 education. A key provision of SB 231 shifts state money away from wealthier school districts — whose high property values fund a high level of per-pupil spending — to those districts with a higher proportion of low-income students.

    “In Illinois, the quality of a child's education too often depends on the child's ZIP code. Senator Manar's measure would correct this,” McGuire said. “I urge the governor to re-think his opposition to SB 231. To bring back Illinois, we need to bring every child's education up to world-class level. That's morally right, economically necessary, and SB 231 is the conscientious way to do it."

    Under SB 231, no district would receive less state money from 2015 levels, and many areas will see that 100 percent of its students get an increase in funding.

    “Kids in Illinois cities hit hard by factories closing in the 1980s and ever since badly need a boost,” McGuire said. “This legislation helps students in Joliet, Chicago Heights, Elgin, Rockford… SB 231 will help transform Illinois’ Rust Belt into the asset we need it to be.”

    SB 231 recently passed a key Senate committee and will be debated on the floor later this week.

  • Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) speaks at a bipartisan press conference on legislation bringing higher education funding to 60% for FY2016.


  • fermentationt kettlesThe burgeoning fermentation sciences program at Southern Illinois University got a boost earlier this week, thanks to State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet).

    A provision in Senate Bill 2824, which passed the Senate earlier this week, gives students in the program aged 18-20 the ability to taste — but not drink — samples of their work during class, a concept called “sip and spit.”

  • 042116 js 0528CLState Sen. Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) today heralded passage of a measure designed to keep all Illinois public community colleges and universities open and assist low-income students. Senate Bill 2059 won overwhelming, bipartisan support in the Illinois House and Senate. The bill now goes to Gov. Bruce Rauner, who has promised to sign it.

    “Democrats and Republicans today recognized everyone would lose if any of Illinois’ nine public universities and 48 public community colleges were forced to close due to the budget impasse,” McGuire said. “This unprecedented agreement among all four legislative caucuses and the governor is a big step toward ensuring Illinois higher education continues uninterrupted, benefiting students, their families, employees of public and private colleges and universities, college towns, and ultimately the future of our state.”

    Senate Bill 2059 provides $74 million to community colleges, $356 million to nine public universities, and $169 million for Monetary Award Program grants to more than 128,000 low-income students.

    McGuire expressed hope that passage of this emergency funding for this budget year, which began last July 1, means higher education funding for the 2017 budget year will be adequate and on-time.

    “I hope all of us in Springfield learned a lesson,” McGuire said. “Stubbornness and bickering put families through hell and risk Illinois getting back to full strength. I look forward to returning to Springfield on May 2 and continuing the better way of governing we achieved passing Senate Bill 2059.”

  • trotter sb2046Today, the Illinois Senate passed legislation that could essentially end the 2016 budget year stalemate.

    Some 90 percent of the state spending plan already is in place because of various court orders, leaving just higher education and many social services, which serve thousands of Illinois’ most vulnerable citizens, left unfunded. This afternoon the Senate concurred with the House on Senate Bill 2046 and approved spending authority for the state’s public universities and social services left unfunded during the budget impasse.

  • 040716CM0732CLSPRINGFIELD — Today, the Illinois Senate passed legislation that closes an open wound in the 2016 budget.

    Some 90 percent of the state budget is being spent because of various court orders and decrees. However, the 10 percent of the budget for higher education and many human services remains unfunded. State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) joined his colleagues voting to fund the missing 10 percent.

    “Our higher education and human service organizations are on the brink of collapse,” said McGuire, chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee. “We have given the governor yet another opportunity to stand with Illinois’ neediest college students and most vulnerable residents.

    “I hope that he makes the right choice this time.”

    In addition to funding MAP grants and operations for the state’s post-secondary schools, Senate Bill 2046 authorizes the governor to release over $470 million for the Department of Human Services to fund addiction treatment, mental health services and other necessary programs.

    SB 2046, having passed the Illinois House on Tuesday, now goes to the governor’s desk.

  • steans presser 040516State Sen. Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) and State Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) spoke out in support of legislation that will ensure all students have a chance to compete for aid to pay for college at a press conference today that was organized by the Latino Policy Forum.

    Undocumented students are currently ineligible to receive state-based financial aid, but that would change under the proposal McGuire and Steans are backing.

    “Our state’s future prosperity depends on keeping our brightest minds in state,” Steans said. “Currently, these 1,500 students cannot even compete for the scholarships that would allow them to pursue higher education here in Illinois; this legislation, which our state universities support, will provide the access they now lack.”

  • Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) discusses the concept for Student Access at a recent press conference in the Capitol.


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  • McGuire2014squareSPRINGFIELD — A spending plan to restore human services and help shore up Illinois’ embattled higher education system state passed the Illinois Senate today.

    Senate Bill 2059 authorizes the governor to fund programs and services not covered by the court orders and consent decrees that are propelling 90 percent of state spending. This 10 percent gap in the state budget has caused cutbacks in human services and endangered the future of state universities and needy students.

    “This measure can restore Meals on Wheels. It supports the drug, mental health and veterans courts, which are more effective than imprisonment,” McGuire said. “And it signals to students awaiting MAP grants that the state plans to honor its obligation to them.”

    Proponents of the legislation pointed to testimony of Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger in a hearing earlier Thursday of the Senate Appropriations II Committee, of which McGuire is a member.

    “Comptroller Munger made clear that getting in the queue at her office is the essential first step toward a non-profit provider a student, or a vendor getting the funds promised to them,” McGuire said. “Passage of SB 2059 gives the governor the authority to prioritize human services and higher education in the payment line at the Comptroller’s office.”

    The measure now goes to the House for approval. Passage there would send the bill to Gov. Bruce Rauner for his approval.

  • mcguire map 012816SPRINGFIELD — Legislation to help colleges and universities in Illinois stretch the funding they receive from the state passed the Senate Higher Education Committee on Wednesday with bipartisan support.

    Senate Bill 3023, sponsored by State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet), chairman of the Higher Education Committee, revitalizes the Higher Education Cooperation Act (HECA) by expanding sources of funding as well as the types of eligible schools.

    “A modernized, expanded HECA means state seed money growing public-private  partnerships,” McGuire said. “These partnerships will boost cooperation between colleges, employers and unions to train Illinois residents for the new economy.”

    The Illinois Board of Higher Education administers HECA, which gives grants to schools to foster innovation in academic and student success programs. However, HECA hasn’t been funded since 2008. SB 3023 will allow IBHE to create public-private partnerships with foundations and the private sector to make these grants larger. SB 2023 also allows the grants to be used at private institutions as well as vocational, non-profit and for-profit schools.

    “Last year Illinois slipped on its way toward the economically necessary goal of 60 percent of our adult workers having a post-secondary credential by 2025,” McGuire said. “Senate Bill 3023 helps get us back on track.”

    SB 2023 passed the Senate Higher Education Committee unopposed and will move to the full Senate for a vote.

  • 031016CM0111CLSPRINGFIELD — Legislation to help colleges and universities in Illinois stretch the funding they receive from the state passed the Senate Higher Education Committee on Wednesday with bipartisan support.

    Senate Bill 3023, sponsored by State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet), chairman of the Higher Education Committee, revitalizes the Higher Education Cooperation Act (HECA) by expanding sources of funding as well as the types of eligible schools.

    “A modernized, expanded HECA means state seed money growing public-private partnerships,” McGuire said. “These partnerships will boost cooperation between colleges, employers and unions to train Illinois residents for the new economy.”

    The Illinois Board of Higher Education administers HECA, which gives grants to schools to foster innovation in academic and student success programs. However, HECA hasn’t been funded since 2008. SB 3023 will allow IBHE to create public-private partnerships with foundations and the private sector to make these grants larger. SB 2023 also allows the grants to be used at private institutions as well as vocational, non-profit and for-profit schools.

    “Last year Illinois slipped on its way toward the economically necessary goal of 60 percent of our adult workers having a post-secondary credential by 2025,” McGuire said. “Senate Bill 3023 helps get us back on track.”

    SB 2023 passed the Senate Higher Education Committee unopposed and will move to the full Senate for a vote.

  • mcguire 031016SPRINGFIELD — During a meeting of a key Senate budget panel Thursday, officials from the Illinois Board of Higher Education as well as several state universities testified to the dire state of higher education in Illinois.

    Colleges and universities have not had state funding in place since last summer, and the governor’s proposal for the next budget year would slash funding by 22 percent compared to 2015. State Senator Pat McGuire, a member of the Senate Appropriations II Committee as well as chairman of the Higher Education Committee, echoed the concerns of those who testified.

    “Dr. Applegate was right to describe starving Illinois higher education as ‘economic suicide,’ ” McGuire said, referring to IBHE Executive Director Dr. Jim Applegate.

  • McGuire2014squareSPRINGFIELD — Most state employees have been working without a contract since last summer. Negotiations since between the governor’s office and the union that represents the employees have not proved fruitful. State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) helped pass legislation today that not only will keep workers on the job but also will help broker a deal that is fair for both sides.

    House Bill 580 introduces interest arbitration to the negotiating process between the governor’s office and AFSCME. Current law allows the state, in the event of a genuine impasse, to implement its final offer, which the union then chooses to accept or go on strike.

    Interest arbitration involves a neutral third party to help resolve contract disputes. Each side would have its own delegate and then agree to the third party. This arbitrator has the authority to then impose terms of a new contract, and the employees give up their right to strike during the arbitration process.

    “AFSCME members perform essential work throughout our area,” McGuire said, referencing Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill in particular. “Interest arbitration already is in place for police, firefighters and other public safety workers. It’s a proven concept, and Governor Rauner can show that he values the hard work that our union members do for their families and their communities by signing HB 580.”

    With the Senate’s approval of HB 580, it now goes to the governor for his signature.

  • 012816CM0908CLUPDATE 5:31 PM 03/02/2016:

    SPRINGFIELD — Following the House’s failure to override the governor’s veto of Senate Bill 2043 on Wednesday, State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) released the following statement:

    “What the override sought to do was to authorize the governor to make releasing MAP grants a priority. The governor rejected this opportunity. My work to secure funding for Illinois' needy students, community colleges, and nine public universities will continue.”

     

    PREVIOUSLY:

    SPRINGFIELD — More than 100,000 college students in Illinois have struggled to pay for their education during the past seven months because of the governor’s repeated broken promises to them. Today, the Illinois State Senate voted to restore some hope to those students.

    State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet), chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee, has been on the forefront of the charge to fund Monetary Award Program grants, which help thousands of low-income students across the state pay for their education.

    “Governor Rauner’s refusal to honor the commitment he made to these students has thrown into jeopardy the future that they envisioned when they enrolled,” McGuire said. “It’s imperative that the MAP grants they were promised get into their hands so they can concentrate on their education, not how they are going to pay for it.”

    Today, the Senate voted to override Rauner’s veto of Senate Bill 2043, which not only funds MAP grants for the 2015-16 academic year but also includes money for community colleges and career-technical and adult education as well. SB 2043 passed both chambers in January, and the governor vetoed it last month. The motion to override now heads to the Illinois House for final approval.

    “Students and our academic institutions as well have been pushed to the brink,” McGuire said. “I trust that my colleagues in the House understand this and vote appropriately.”

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