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McGuire works to unblock college financial aid

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.

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 (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.