SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – In an effort to keep public universities in Illinois open, state Rep. Larry Walsh, Jr., D-Elwood, supported legislation Friday to appropriate $600 million in funding for state universities, community colleges, and the Monetary Award Program.
“Many public universities are warning they will be forced to close their doors this summer without funding from the state,” Walsh said. “This is a critical stopgap measure that will prevent the complete collapse of higher education in Illinois.”
Senate Bill 2059 releases $600 million in funding for universities and community colleges. The Walsh-backed measure also includes crucial dollars for the state’s Monetary Award Program (MAP), which helps low-income students attain a higher education. The releasing of these funds comes at a time when several public universities have warned they would have to close their doors without action from the state. Walsh has supported several measures to fund higher education and the MAP Grant program, but Governor Rauner has either opposed or vetoed these efforts. Senate Bill 2059 passed both chambers Friday and now goes to the governor for further consideration.
“The governor’s decision to wait until the eleventh hour to release limited funding has caused serious damage to our state’s credibility,” Walsh said. “We have much more work to do to ensure our universities survive this crisis created by Governor Rauner.”