SPRINGFIELD – Legislation aimed at partially funding higher education in Illinois was vetoed by Governor Rauner today. Senate Bill 2043 was passed on a partisan vote promising to solve the FY16 appropriation funding lapse for a select few higher education institutions and students.
State Representative Joe Sosnowski (R-Rockford) was disappointed with the process that led to the bill being vetoed.
“The bill did nothing more than make a false promise to Map Grant students,” said Rep. Sosnowski. “It’s unacceptable and poor legislating to use students as political pawns. There was no funding mechanism in the legislation and it only covered a portion of the higher education community’s budget. A comprehensive approach to funding higher education was offered; however, the bill was ignored. At the very least that bill could have been considered for compromise.”
The comprehensive proposal suggested by Rep. Sosnowski (HB 4539), would fund higher education by providing the Governor the tools to manage spending and support higher education services. The spending plan would provide higher education with level funding for Map Grants.
The apparatus, the Unbalanced Budget Response Act (HB 4521), would afford the Governor similar latitude that he requested in the FY15 budget fix, allowing a wide ability to manage finances to adequately fund programs including higher education.
“This approach to funding higher education is not a perfect solution, but it provides a real funding mechanism for Map Grant recipients, Community Colleges and State Universities; rather than more false promises. Speaker Madigan needs to stop his decades of political games and come to the table to help fix the mess he created.”