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Higher Education

  • 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.

  • Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) discusses the concept for Student Access at a recent press conference in the Capitol.


  • 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.

  • murphy hiedSPRINGFIELD – Several pieces of legislation passed through the Senate Committee on Higher Education as a result of the College of DuPage scandal that has unfolded over the last few months.

    State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) was a supporter of all of the legislation, which seek to increase transparency at community colleges and cut down on expensive perks for college officials.

    “Community colleges are great resources for thousands of students around the state. They are not opportunities for bureaucrats to take advantage of hundreds of thousands of dollars of student and taxpayer money,” Murphy said.

    The proposals, which passed the subcommittee today, will now head to a hearing in front of the full Senate Public Higher Education Committee. They include:

    Senate Bill 2155 – Requires the auditor general to audit one-third of all community colleges every year

    Senate Bill 2156 – Prevents perks, such as room and board expenses, from being classified as pensionable earnings

    Senate Bill 2157 – Requires four hours of professional training for new community college board trustees

    Senate Bill 2158 – Prohibits community college boards from entering new employee contracts 45 days prior to Election Day for trustees

    Senate Bill 2159 – Requires contract terms and annual performance reviews to increase transparency, and also forbids contract buyouts in cases of pending criminal charges

    Senate Bill 2174 – Requires four hours of professional training for all voting members of a university governing board

     

  • 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.”

  • cunningham hiedcompSPRINGFIELD—On Wednesday, Senator Bill Cunningham urged his colleagues on the Higher Education Committee to pass legislation that would reform the financial practices surrounding how higher education administration is compensated.

    The reforms were launched after a report revealed inappropriate financial practices occurring at institutions of higher education, including the recent scandal at the College of DuPage.

    “Our institutions of higher learning throughout Illinois have continued to be plagued by controversies involving excessive compensation for college administrators, which only cost the taxpayers and the students more money,” Cunningham said.

  • mapoverride

  • 021616CM0549SPRINGFIELD — With dozens of students and other higher education supporters gathered for support, Senate Democrats delivered to the governor today legislation giving him the authority to honor his commitment to lower-income college students.

    After a press conference about the need for Monetary Award Program grants, State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) helped personally walk Senate Bill 2043 to the governor’s office.

    “Over 125,000 of Illinois’ neediest college students need ASAP the financial aid the state promised them,” said McGuire, chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee. “The governor’s repeated refusal to authorize these students’ MAP grants is causing havoc in homes and on campuses throughout Illinois.”

    SB 2043 includes MAP grants for the 2015-16 academic year as well as funding for community colleges and career-technical and adult education. It gained approval from both the House and Senate last month and awaits the governor’s signature.

    “Governor Rauner chose to fund K-12 education. He saw the light on pre-K education, McGuire said. “SB 2043 now gives the governor the opportunity to support post-secondary education.

    “For everyone’s good, I hope he will,” McGuire said.

  • map grant mrSPRINGFIELD --Today, the Illinois Senate will deliverSenate Bill 2043 to the governor’s office. A news conference regarding the delivery of the legislation is scheduled for 1 p.m. in the Capitol media briefing room.

    That legislation provides the governor with the spending authority needed to honor his administration’s commitment to students regarding the Monetary Award Program (MAP) financial aid grants.

    Even as the Senate was giving final approval to SB 2043 on Jan. 28,  Gov. Bruce Rauner threatened to veto the legislation just as he had in June. In response, Senate President JohnCullerton announced the Senate would hold the legislation for a couple weeks in the hope the governor would reconsider.

  • Senator Patricia Van Pelt shares her personal experience with MAP grants and the lasting effect her education had on her life on January 28, 2016.


  • Senator Donne Trotter (D-Chicago) discusses his sponsorship of SB 2043 and the importance of MAP grant funding on the Senate floor on January 28, 2016.


  • Higher Education Committee chair Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) speaks to the importance of MAP grants on the Senate chamber floor on January 28, 2016.


  • 012816CM0908CLToday, the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 2043, which funds Monetary Award Program grants for the 2015-16 academic year as well provides money for community colleges and vocational and GED training as well. State Senator Pat McGuire rose on the Senate floor in support of the legislation. Below is the audio of his speech.

    UPDATE 2:07 p.m. Jan. 28:

    McGuire helps pass MAP grant legislation

    SPRINGFIELD — Thousands of college students in Illinois who have been without their promised financial aid for months are now a step closer to receiving it.

    State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) voted to pass Senate Bill 2043, which authorizes full funding of Monetary Award Program grants for the 2015-16 academic year.

    “These students have faith that earning a degree will help them and our state flourish,” McGuire said. “They also have faith – which I heard expressed at four hearings across Illinois – that the state of Illinois will fulfill its promise to help them pay for college. The General Assembly voted today to honor that. Now it’s the governor’s turn.”

    Last May, the General Assembly passed MAP grant legislation, which the governor vetoed. And in August, SB 2043 stalled in the House. This version of SB 2043 that passed the House on Thursday not only includes MAP grant funding but money for community colleges and career-technical and adult education as well.

    With the Senate’s final approval Thursday, the measure now goes to the governor.

  • 032114 js 0204CL rA measure to immediately release $168 million to benefit thousands of college students in Illinois has been filed in the Illinois State Senate.

    State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) is chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee and the sponsor of Senate Bill 2226, which would cover the costs that colleges and universities around the state absorbed last fall fronting Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants that their students depend on.

    “Illinois needs to invest in the higher education of its residents in order to get back to full strength,” McGuire said. “Failing to provide the financial aid for which 130,000 students qualified threatens those students, the schools they attend, and the future of our state.

    Twice in 2015, the Illinois Senate passed legislation to fund MAP:

    • House Bill 4146 was passed in May. It increased MAP funding but was vetoed by the governor.
    • In August, the Senate returned to Springfield to pass SB 2043, which appropriated the governor’s original request. That legislation remains pending in the Illinois House.

    During the fall semester, colleges and universities around the state took on the cost of the absent MAP grants. However, dozens of schools recently said they can’t do the same for the current spring semester.

    “MAP isn’t about athletics, new buildings, faculty positions, or administrators’ pensions,” McGuire said. “MAP is about the opportunity to learn. It’s about students who want to do more in life for themselves and their state.”

    SB 2226 will be in committee for debate soon and goes into effect immediately on passage.

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