Senator Bill Brady(R-Bloomington) reacted Wednesday to Democratic legislator’s politically-charged veto override of SB 2043 today, calling the override a political game that would negatively affect Illinois’ university system.
“Illinois students and universities are at a breaking point. SB 2043 is a false promise made by Democrats in the General Assembly,” said Brady. “Instead of working with us and Governor Rauner on responsible funding options for the university system, the majority party is pushing forward with more political gamesmanship. We must enact a real and responsible appropriation to fund our higher education institutions.”
SB 2043, legislation that would fund only MAP Grants, was pushed through the General Assembly by Democratic lawmakers. The proposal was subsequently vetoed by Governor Rauner, who noted that the legislation lacks a source of funding. Furthermore, the legislation would not appropriate any operating funds for Illinois’ four-year universities. Brady and other Republicans in the General Assembly have repeatedly voiced support for higher education and map grants, but they have emphasized that there must be a viable source of funds for those programs.
Consequently, Senator Brady introduced SB 3380 on Wednesday, which would responsibly fund higher education institutions and MAP Grant programs throughout the state of Illinois. The legislation, tied to procurement reform and the Unbalanced Budget Response Act, would fund universities for costs incurred from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016 at 80% of the FY15 level. Community colleges would be funded at the 90% level, and MAP Grants would be 100% funded. The funds saved due to procurement reform would offset the difference in funding for both community colleges and four-year institutions. Brady also advocated passage of the Unbalanced Budget Response Act, which would give Governor Rauner the authority to find additional funding in state government that would then go to higher education institutions. Brady stated that making false promises to our struggling universities is not a solution at all, and this legislation would be in the best interest of Illinois universities and students alike.
“This is a critical time for our state university system, and my legislation will provide much-needed relief to both Illinois universities and Illinois students. We cannot wait any longer, and I urge the General Assembly pass this legislation. I look forward to discussing it on the Senate floor with fellow lawmakers.”