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McGuire

  • Colleges, IBHE sound warning at budget hearing

    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.

  • McGuire: anti-violence programs now law; trauma caused by violence is more than physical

    mcguire 030717 1714CHICAGO – New anti-violence programs focused around community trauma centers will aim to address the destructive effects of gun violence now that a bipartisan measure co-sponsored by State Sen. Pat McGuire has been signed into law.

    “I’m glad that we could work across the aisle to help our communities heal,” McGuire said. “The programs that will arise out of this process are aimed at the root causes of violence all over the state of Illinois.”

    The legislation tasks the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority with assisting in the implementation of trauma recovery services for violent crime victims in underserved communities with high-levels of violent crime. Programs would tackle problems like behavioral health treatment, financial recovery, family support and relocation assistance, and advice for navigating the legal system.

    “The trauma caused by violence is more than merely physical,” McGuire said. “It leaves scars on a community that are much harder to see and that perpetuate a vicious cycle. These programs will seek to address that deeper harm and break that vicious cycle.”

    The legislation was Senate Bill 2872 in the 99th General Assembly.

  • Senator McGuire discusses Student Access

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


  • Budget update for May 27

    McGuire2014squareThe governor and the General Assembly have about 100 hours left to agree on a state budget before the May 31 deadline.

    A bipartisan, bicameral working group of legislators and the governor’s budget director last week forwarded to the governor and four legislative leaders a budget plan for FY 2016 (July 1, 2015-June 30, 2016) and FY 2017 (July 1, 2016-June 30, 2017).

    A similar bipartisan, bicameral working group last week began seeking agreement on items on the governor’s Turnaround Agenda, such as collective bargaining, local government consolidation and worker’s compensation. That group continues to meet.

    Agreement on both a two-year budget plan of cuts and revenue and reforms on Turnaround Agenda items would constitute a “grand bargain.”

    In the event a grand bargain cannot be reached by Tuesday, Senate President John Cullerton has suggested a short-term compromise to, as he says, “keep the schools open, our universities open and our human service providers open while we continue to negotiate a broader, balanced budget solution.”

    I encourage you to let the governor and the four legislative leaders know you favor a grand bargain and, if that is out of reach by Tuesday, a short-term compromise budget:

    • Governor Bruce Rauner, (217) 782-0244 or on the Web
    • Senate President John Cullerton, (217) 782-2728 or on the Web
    • Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, (217) 782-9407 or on the Web
    • House Speaker Michael Madigan, (217) 782-5350
    • House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, (217) 782-0494 or on the Web
  • Few specifics, missed opportunities in governor's budget speech (VIDEO)

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  • Final Senate higher education hearing warns of students lost in limbo

    Final Senate higher education hearing warns of students lost in limbo

    hi ed hrngs eiuCHARLESTON — As students prepare to register for their spring classes, they are unsure what the absence of a state higher education budget means for them.

    When Eastern Illinois University’ student government board assembled at the start of the school year, they didn’t think they would have to worry about the state’s budget. Their main concern was finding innovative ways to get other students involved in on-campus organizations.

    Senate Higher Education Committee Chairman Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill) assembled the panel for its final scheduled hearing to hear from students like Jose Durbin, who are the future of higher education and our state government: He wants to be a state senator one day.

    Durbin has already started looking at private loans that will end up being more expensive for him in the long run.

    “Our public higher education institutions prepare our students to be the future leaders of Illinois,” said Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign). “It’s heartbreaking to hear students’ struggles as they work toward meeting their tuition costs and calculating budgets for their student organizations. We need to put a budget in place to guarantee students have the services and support they need to be successful.”

    Every year, thousands of Illinois students take advantage of this vital state funding to help pay for the opportunity to receive a higher education. The average student with a MAP grant receives about $2,700 to help pay for tuition. As college costs continue to skyrocket in Illinois, these grants are vital to the sustainability of many students’ college careers.

    Twenty percent — about 2,600 — of students at EIU rely on state assistance to cover their tuition expenses.

    "We tell students from kindergarten on to study hard and get good grades so they can go to college," McGuire said. "We're hypocrites if we then allow the governor to pull the financial aid rug out from under them."

    The Senate did pass funding for the state’s financial student assistance program, the Monetary Award Program (MAP). However, the House has yet to approve the funding.

  • Final Senate higher education hearing warns of students lost in limbo (VIDEO)

    Final Senate higher education hearing warns of students lost in limbo

    hi ed hrngs eiuCHARLESTON — As students prepare to register for their spring classes, they are unsure what the absence of a state higher education budget means for them.

    When Eastern Illinois University’ student government board assembled at the start of the school year, they didn’t think they would have to worry about the state’s budget. Their main concern was finding innovative ways to get other students involved in on-campus organizations.

    Senate Higher Education Committee Chairman Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill) assembled the panel for its final scheduled hearing to hear from students like Jose Durbin, who are the future of higher education and our state government: He wants to be a state senator one day.

    Durbin has already started looking at private loans that will end up being more expensive for him in the long run.

    “Our public higher education institutions prepare our students to be the future leaders of Illinois,” said Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign). “It’s heartbreaking to hear students’ struggles as they work toward meeting their tuition costs and calculating budgets for their student organizations. We need to put a budget in place to guarantee students have the services and support they need to be successful.”

    Every year, thousands of Illinois students take advantage of this vital state funding to help pay for the opportunity to receive a higher education. The average student with a MAP grant receives about $2,700 to help pay for tuition. As college costs continue to skyrocket in Illinois, these grants are vital to the sustainability of many students’ college careers.

    Twenty percent — about 2,600 — of students at EIU rely on state assistance to cover their tuition expenses.

    "We tell students from kindergarten on to study hard and get good grades so they can go to college," McGuire said. "We're hypocrites if we then allow the governor to pull the financial aid rug out from under them."

    The Senate did pass funding for the state’s financial student assistance program, the Monetary Award Program (MAP). However, the House has yet to approve the funding.

  • Governor vetoes MAP, community college funding for Illinois students

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  • Higher Ed funding is investment in middle-class families

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    As Illinois students begin preparing for mid-terms, Chairman Pat McGuire (D-Crest Hill) assembled the Senate’s Higher Education Committee at Joliet Junior College to hear from students, parents and state community colleges and universities on the impact the current budget impasse is having on higher education in Illinois.

    “Time's a'wastin' - first semester already has started. Governor Rauner, get on board,” McGuire said. “Support MAP and higher education funding so Illinois high school graduates and returning adults can earn the knowledge and skills needed in today's economy to make our state strong again.”

  • Illinois Senate Sends Bipartisan Funding Bill to Governor

    mcguire 120715SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Senate today approved a measure authorizing Governor Bruce Rauner to release gaming and gas tax funds to local governments, pay Illinois Lottery winners, support community colleges, train police officers, and shore up human services.

    Sen. Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) is a co-sponsor of SB 2039. The measure passed the Illinois House on Dec. 2.

    "Better late than never," McGuire said. "Had Gov. Rauner negotiated a budget last spring, we could have avoided over five months of anxiety felt everywhere from mayors' offices to GED classrooms. Let's hope this common-sense, bipartisan action continues into the new year."

    Among the $3.1 billion in funds released by the legislation are:

    •    $100 million in casino taxes to cities with riverboats.
    •    $582 million in Motor Fuel Tax to municipalities and counties.
    •    $43 million to community colleges and non-profit organizations for adult education and career-technical training.
    •    $19 million for domestic violence shelters.
    •    $165 million for LIHEAP home heating-bill assistance.
    •    $12 million for law enforcement training.

    Most of the monies released by the measure are either federal pass-through funds or state funds derived from fees and licenses. Only $28 million comes from Illinois income and sales taxes.

    "I urge Gov. Rauner to sign SB 2039 immediately," McGuire said. "The state has played hide-and-seek with this money for far too long."

    The measure passed the Senate by a 53-0 vote and now moves to the governor’s desk.

  • June 1 budget update

    McGuire2014squareThe regular spring session of the General Assembly ended late last night without adoption of a budget. The final words on the Senate floor were those of Senate President John Cullerton and Minority Leader Christine Radogno. Both leaders pledged to continue working toward first a six-month stopgap budget and then a full budget.

    The stopgap budget idea, as I mentioned in my last e-newsletter, originated last week with Senate President Cullerton. Yesterday morning, on the final day of regular session, Governor Bruce Rauner took up the idea of a six-month stopgap budget. The governor’s proposed stopgap budget is without Turnaround Agenda demands.

    However, both the Illinois Constitution and logistics make it impossible to draft, introduce, debate and adopt a budget in one day.

    I take hope from the fact that the bipartisan, bicameral working groups which have been striving to craft a budget are continuing to meet. The goal of the working groups is to reach agreement on a stopgap budget before June 30, the final day of the current fiscal year. We legislators have been told to be ready to return to Springfield whenever a stopgap budget is ready to be voted upon.

    The toll the lack of a state budget is taking on individuals, families, organizations and institutions is horrible. Please encourage the four legislative leaders and the governor to do their absolute level best to present a fair, balanced budget as soon as possible.

  • Lawmakers personally deliver MAP funding bill to governor's office (AUDIO & VIDEO)

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  • Legislation to strengthen higher ed public-private partnerships

    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.

  • Long-awaited leaders' meeting results in promise to meet again (UPDATED)

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  • MAP grants, community colleges funding head to governor (AUDIO)

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  • Martinez, McGuire, Steans advocate for equal access to financial aid

    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.”

  • McGuire bills help streamline community college administration

    McGuire2014squareSPRINGFIELD -- Two measures sponsored by State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) as part of his push to modernize higher education and make college more affordable have been signed into law.

    The first piece of legislation, House Bill 4675, reclassifies the sources of two funds for adult and career education. This is in response to confusion about the funds’ sources in an earlier budget bill that led to the two funds — which totaled $43 million — being left out of the earlier bill.

    The second new law, House Bill 6009, streamlines the data collection process that community colleges must undertake and updates other state laws regarding higher education.

    “These two bills provide clear financial relief for our state’s community colleges by trimming bureaucracy and increasing efficiency by eliminating duplicative services,” said McGuire, chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee. “Modernizing the nuts and bolts of community college administration is an integral part of making higher education more affordable.”

    Having been signed by the governor, both bills are now law.

  • McGuire calls for new budget compromise plan, higher ed funding

    Sen. Pat McGuire“We need progressive agendas like the one being put forth this morning.”

    SPRINGFIELD — With no direction from Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration on how it will address a lack of funding for higher education that has persisted since Jan. 1 in the absence of a state budget, Senate Higher Education Committee Chairman Pat McGuire called for cooperation on a new series of proposals aimed at breaking the state budget gridlock.

    Speaking alongside other lawmakers from the House and Senate, McGuire said the newly introduced Comeback Agenda is a necessary compromise at a time when universities and community colleges remain adrift and uncertain due to the governor’s refusal to discuss funding for the current fiscal year.

  • McGuire calls for specifics in governor’s higher education proposal

    Senator Pat McGuireSPRINGFIELD — State Senator Pat McGuire, D-Joliet, chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee, issued the following statement after Illinois universities testified at committee hearing today. Many said that a looming $4.6 billion budget deficit in the governor’s budget proposal threatens programs and staff.
     
    “I’m disappointed that thus far, Governor Rauner’s administration has presented a plan whose only detail seems to be that it will fall $4.6 billion short of its spending priorities,” McGuire said. “The governor’s unbalanced budget and systemic problems without remedies could be a death knell for universities in Illinois.”
     
    Representatives from Southern Illinois University testified that more cuts could bring an end to majors, minors or even whole departments and could imperil regional health services. Western Illinois University reported it is using available unrestricted funds and has cut jobs, pay and programs.
     
    On the possibility of further belt tightening, a representative of Governors State University said, “Our belt was gone in FY16,” and pointed out the university has already cut 22 programs and 62 positions, as well as imposed a 15 percent tuition increase.

  • McGuire calls on students to “Teach The Governor”

    mcguire 020817SPRINGFIELD — Joining student activists as they visited Springfield to call for funding for higher education, State Sen. Pat McGuire asked them to tell Gov. Bruce Rauner about how the impasse is affecting them.

    “I’m going to ask you to teach,” said McGuire, D-Joliet. “I have become an attentive student of Governor Bruce Rauner. In his State of the State address, he said ‘Job creators get excited by term limits.’ You know that’s not true. Job creators get excited by a well-trained, well-educated workforce. I’m convinced the Governor does not know our lives from a hill of beans. The real Illinois is not people like himself, worth $700 million. It’s people trying to get by on $8.25 an hour. People who need Monetary Award Program grants to continue their education.”

    The Fund Our Future Rally drew students from Moraine Valley Community College, the City Colleges of Chicago, the University of Illinois, DePaul University and Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.

    McGuire asked students to “teach the governor” by giving him sharp, specific examples of what the budget impasse is doing to their education.

    “Trust your experience,” McGuire said. “He can’t dispute what you’ve been through. He can’t dispute what you’re after.”