Wednesday, February 08, 2017 05:18 PM
University students and faculty from all over Illinois rallied in Springfield Wednesday to call for an end to the budget impasse that has held up funding for higher education and imperiled programs and services at the state’s public colleges.
Joined by a bipartisan group of lawmakers from the Illinois House and Senate, the Federation of Independent Illinois Colleges and Universities called on the General Assembly and Gov. Bruce Rauner to swiftly approve funding for state universities. A previous stopgap measure expired at the end of 2016, and colleges have since gone without state funding.
State Senator and Chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee, Pat McGuire, D-Joliet, addressed the rally to speak on the grand bargain that would include $1.1 billion in funding for higher education and take steps to end the budget impasse that he said has hurt the lives of students and the schools they attend.
“I know for many of you this is not your first trip to our state capital to advocate for funding for higher education,” McGuire said. “Your persistence is having an effect.”
The Senate continues to negotiate details of a budget plan this week as the General Assembly awaits the governor’s upcoming budget proposal. McGuire urged the students, faculty, and activists at the rally to send a clear message to the General Assembly and the governor to pass the bipartisan compromise.
Sen. Pat McGuire
Years served: 2012 - Present
Committee assignments: Environment and Conservation; Appropriations II; Higher Education (Chairperson); Revenue; Transportation; Committee of the Whole; State Government & Veterans Affairs (Vice-Chairperson).
Biography: Former teacher, school board member, Will County treasurer and Braidwood City Clerk; attended Joliet Catholic schools from first grade through college; married (Lora) with one daughter (Molly).