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McGuire votes to fully fund MAP grants

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.

McGuire supports override of governor’s fair contract veto

McGuire2014squareSPRINGFIELD — The governor’s veto late Monday of House Bill 580, which would provide interest arbitration for public employees who have been working without a contract for nearly a year, sets up an override battle in the Illinois House later this month. State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) issued the following statement:

“Interest arbitration is established as a fair way to settle contract disputes between Illinois units of government and their employees. State workers who toil in our prisons, aid our most vulnerable residents and perform other work many of us don’t have the heart or stomach for deserve interest arbitration. Please contact your state representative and urge him or her to support the override of HB 580.”

McGuire helps pass bipartisan emergency human services funding

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.

McGuire shows support for fair school funding

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.

Sen. Pat McGuire

mcguire-2014-150

43rd District

Years served:
2012 - Present

Committee assignments: Appropriations II; Environment and Conservation; Higher Education (Chairperson); Revenue; State Government (Vice-Chairperson); Transportation; Subcommittee on Capital.

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).

Associated Representatives:
John Connor
Lawrence Walsh, Jr.