SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Continuing her effort to expand opportunities for higher education in Illinois, state Rep. Kelly Burke, D-Evergreen Park, passed legislation on Thursday which would restore funding for the Monetary Award Program (MAP), and other higher education programs, which have remained unfunded as a result of the ongoing budget impasse.
Burke is the chief sponsor of Senate Bill 2043. The measure increases funding for MAP grants by more than $32 million compared to fiscal year 2015. Across the state, approximately 130,000 students utilize the MAP Grant program to seek higher education. Students at Saint Xavier University were eligible to receive nearly $7 million in MAP grants while those studying at Moraine Valley Community College should have received $2.4 million.
Burke’s measure also restores the operating budget for the City Colleges of Chicago, restores grants for Technical Education, adult education and adult literacy programs across the state. Legislators passed funding for each of these programs within the Higher Education budget in May of 2015. However, Governor Rauner vetoed the support for these programs, and they have remained without state support as Illinois still remains without a permanent budget. Burke’s legislation restores these programs, and will allow student’s MAP grants to be processed; helping them return to class for the spring semester.
“A student’s place of birth or the success of their parents shouldn’t dictate their ability to receive a quality education. MAP grants and other vital programs allow thousands of students an opportunity to better themselves through education that may otherwise not have been available. It’s unconscionable that these programs have remained unfunded for this long,” Burke said. “I want to thank my colleagues in the General Assembly who stood up for our students with their vote yesterday, and I urge governor Rauner to do the same by signing this bill into law and give students across the state the tools they need to succeed.”
SB2043 passed both chambers of the General Assembly on Jan. 28 and now awaits action from the governor.
For more information, please contact Burke’s constituent service office at 708-425-0571 or email@example.com.