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Higher Education

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


  • Senator Donne Trotter (D-Chicago) speaks to SB 2048, which would bring higher education funding to 60% for public colleges and universities for FY2016.


  • CSUGrad04282016

    More than 800 Chicago State University students received their diplomas Thursday in an early ceremony moved up weeks for fear the school would run out of money and shut down due to an ongoing state budget impasse.

    A last-minute, $600-million higher education deal will, for now, keep the doors open at Chicago State, Eastern Illinois University and other state schools. But the stop gap plan isn’t enough to offset the long-term damage that’s been done as the schools have gone nearly a year without any state support. Layoffs and program cuts are still expected at Chicago State and other schools.

    Senator Emil Jones III was at Thursday’s graduation ceremonies – the 358th commencement for the nearly 150-year-old university. As happy as he is for the CSU graduates, he’s equally concerned for the underclassmen who increasingly are victimized by the budget showdown that began when Gov. Bruce Rauner rejected the entire higher education budget last year.

  • sb2059 signed

  • sb2059 signed

  • 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.”

  • Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Chicago Heights) speaks about two budget measures that passed the Senate today at a Legislative Black Caucus press conference.


  • Senator Emil Jones (D-Chicago) speaks about two budget measures that passed the Senate today at a Legislative Black Caucus press conference.


  • Senator Donne Trotter (D-Chicago) speaks about two budget measures that passed the Senate today at a Legislative Black Caucus press conference.


  • Senator Kimberly Lightford (D-Maywood) speaks about two budget measures that passed the Senate today at a Legislative Black Caucus press conference.


  • Senator Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) argues in favor of a higher education funding plan on the Senate Floor.


  • Senator Donne Trotter(D-Chicago) argues in favor of a higher education funding plan on the Senate Floor.


  • Senator Napoleon Harris (D-Harvey) argues in favor of his proposal to protect the first amendment rights of student athletes.


  • Senator William Delgado (D-Chicago) gives a floor speech arguing in support of Senate Bill 2196.


  • cunningham hiedcompLegislation product of investigation into perks for higher education presidents

    SPRINGFIELD—Community colleges and state universities may see a lot of changes coming soon when it comes to administration pay and severance packages.

    State Senator Bill Cunningham proposed a reform package after the Senate Democratic Caucus Report on Higher Education Executive Compensation revealed lavish perks, golden parachutes and a lack of transparency in hiring and firing of administrators.

    “This was about taking steps to protect taxpayers and tuition payers from abuse by college and university administration,” Cunningham said. “Lavish perks, like country club memberships, were forcing students to pay more and taxpayers to cover more costs when tuition was not enough.”

  • 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.

  • Senator Donne Trotter (D-Chicago) argues the opposition on the floor, imploring them to vote for a higher education budget measure.


  • munoz vets 041216SPRINGFIELD - Service members looking to obtain college credit for military courses may soon have an easier process when transferring credits to a public university or community college in Illinois, under a Senate plan that was approved in committee today.

    The proposal, which passed the higher education committee unanimously, requires the state’s public universities and community colleges to develop a written policy for awarding college credit for military courses taken through the Armed Forces.

  • martinez 040516SPRINGFIELD — Undocumented students in Illinois are currently ineligible to receive state-based financial aid.

    Majority Caucus Whip Iris Y. Martinez (D-Chicago) is working hard to make sure that changes.

    Under legislation sponsored by Martinez, known as the “Student Access Bill,” undocumented students meeting the conditions necessary to be deemed Illinois residents for tuition purposes would be eligible to access state-based financial aid at Illinois’ four-year public universities.

    “Higher education offers a pathway to a better life, and all qualified students deserve a fair shot at competing for assistance to pay for college,” Martinez said.

    The measure does not require the state to increase spending for higher education or create a new scholarship program. It simply gives public universities the authority to offer financial aid to more students.

     

    If Martinez’s proposal becomes law, it is estimated that 1,500 students from Illinois’ four-year public universities would receive new scholarship opportunities.

    Financial aid includes any state aid or benefit funded or administered by the state, state agencies, or public institutions and universities, such as scholarships, grants, awards and room and board.

    The legislation does not include access to grants provided through the Monetary Award Program (MAP).

    Senate Bill 2196 is an initiative of the University of Illinois in conjunction with the Latino Policy Forum. Former Gov. Jim Edgar, other elected officials, public universities, business and civic leaders, faith based leaders, labor unions and non-profit organizations back the legislation.

    Martinez passed Senate Bill 2196 out of the Higher Education Committee today.