OAK LAWN, Ill. – As college students across the state recover from years of budget instability under Governor Bruce Rauner, state Rep. Kelly Burke, D-Oak Lawn led the charge on a measure to expand access to grants for low-income students and is urging the governor to sign the measure into law.
“Education can help people improve situations for themselves and their families,” said Burke. “We as leaders in this state need to do everything in our power to establish access to education and to make sure the dream of a college education is one that is not exclusive to the wealthy.”
Burke is the chief co-sponsor of House Bill 5020, a measure that prioritizes students currently receiving funds from Monetary Assistance Program, or MAP grants, to continue their college education. Students that remain eligible for MAP and renew by the established priority deadline each year would receive the grant as long as the program is funded.
“In the wake of the uncertainty created by the recent budget impasse, we need to offer as much positive assurance as we can to students and parents,” said Burke. “By making the process to receive MAP easier, colleges and universities in Illinois will be able to provide more certainty to prospective students regarding their financial aid packages, which could also help our schools to be more competitive with out-of-state institutions.”
House Bill 5020 passed both the House and the Senate without opposition and is expected to be sent to the governor for approval in the near future. The proposal is one of a number of measures to strengthen higher education that came from a bipartisan higher education working group that Burke serves on.
Burke serves the 36th Representative District, which contains parts of Chicago’s Beverly, Mt. Greenwood and Auburn-Gresham neighborhoods and portions of Evergreen Park, Oak Lawn, Chicago Ridge, Palos Heights, Palos Hills, Willow Springs and Worth. For more information, please contact Burke’s district office at 708-425-0571 or email email@example.com.