With Illinois’ higher education system approaching eight months without state funding as a result of the current budget impasse, State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) today joined fellow Republicans as a co-sponsor of legislation that will fund public universities, community colleges and MAP grants.
“This is a realistic plan to keep the doors open at our public universities and community colleges,” Butler said. “Legislation pushed by House Democrats has no funding mechanism to pay for these needed funds to higher education. I ask my Democrat colleagues in the House to join me in this compromise proposal. Illinois’ public universities and community colleges are facing serious consequences because of our inaction with the 2016 budget and we must do something to sustain our higher education system.”
House Bill 4539 will fund public universities at 80% of their Fiscal Year 2015 (FY15) appropriations, community colleges will receive 90% of their FY15 appropriations and MAP grants will be funded. This Republican effort would appropriate $1.68 billion for higher education.
HB 4539 is contingent upon the approval of the Unbalanced Budget Response Act (HB 4521). The legislation will give the Governor the authority to take corrective actions to bring expenditures in line with revenue in circumstances when the State is spending more than Illinois’ estimated revenue. This is similar authority granted by the General Assembly to former Governor Quinn. The act would only apply to FY16 and FY 17.