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.

McGuire votes to support union workers in contract dispute

McGuire2014squareSPRINGFIELD — Most state employees have been working without a contract since last summer. Negotiations since between the governor’s office and the union that represents the employees have not proved fruitful. State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) helped pass legislation today that not only will keep workers on the job but also will help broker a deal that is fair for both sides.

House Bill 580 introduces interest arbitration to the negotiating process between the governor’s office and AFSCME. Current law allows the state, in the event of a genuine impasse, to implement its final offer, which the union then chooses to accept or go on strike.

Interest arbitration involves a neutral third party to help resolve contract disputes. Each side would have its own delegate and then agree to the third party. This arbitrator has the authority to then impose terms of a new contract, and the employees give up their right to strike during the arbitration process.

“AFSCME members perform essential work throughout our area,” McGuire said, referencing Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill in particular. “Interest arbitration already is in place for police, firefighters and other public safety workers. It’s a proven concept, and Governor Rauner can show that he values the hard work that our union members do for their families and their communities by signing HB 580.”

With the Senate’s approval of HB 580, it now goes to the governor for his signature.

McGuire votes to restore funding for MAP grants (UPDATED)

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.”



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.”

PHOTO: McGuire visits with FFA members on Ag Day

030116 js 0074CLpreSPRINGFIELD — High school students from across the state visited the Capitol on Tuesday to meet with legislators and advocate for agricultural education funding. State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) met with FFA students during the 2016 Illinois Agriculture Legislative Day.

“Every year, Will County agricultural leaders and I work to keep ag education funds in the state budget,” McGuire said. “We’ll have to do so again this year since the governor’s proposed budget this year wipes out funding for ag education at high schools and community colleges.

“Agriculture provides jobs and income throughout the 43rd District,” McGuire said, “from the corn and bean fields in Elwood and Channahon, to the barges hauling grain through Joliet, to the food processing plants in Romeoville and Bolingbrook.”

Sen. Pat McGuire


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 (TR); Subcommittee on Prisons (Sub-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).

Associated Representatives:
John Connor
Lawrence Walsh, Jr.