Eight years ago, our country was subjected to an attack unlike anything we have seen before. My thoughts and prayers go out to those who were there on September 11, 2001, and to the families who lost loved ones. I also send my heartfelt thanks to those men and women who continue to fight for our country.

RESTORING FUNDS TO SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

The Governor and leaders from both parties agreed the state must act to fill a $200 million shortfall in the Monetary Award Program (MAP), which helps more than 130,000 Illinois students pay for college.

Because of state budget cuts, no tuition aid is available for students in the coming spring semester, jeopardizing the ability of thousands of needy college students to stay in school.

Republican legislative leaders pledged to work with Democrat leaders to restore the funding, but signaled opposition to a plan by Governor Pat Quinn to raise taxes this fall to cover the cost – a plan hinged on increasing cigarette taxes by $1 per pack.

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