News Local/State

Champaign Senator Bennett Starts Petition To Block U of I Cuts


Governor Bruce Rauner proposed a large budget cut for higher education, including the University of Illinois.  A Champaign freshman senator is trying to prevent them.

Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) is trying to stop the governor from slashing the U of I's budget by $209 million, and he's beginning to fight that battle with a stack of paper and a list of names.

The 52nd District Senator has started a petition in opposition to Rauner's plan.  

"What we want to convince people is how many people this is affecting so that when we're meeting with legislators trying to decide, in the appropriations committee for example, how much money should actually be going into this," he said.  "We can let people understand, this goes far beyond the borders of my district."

Bennett says the names he collects signify more than a line on a budget.

"You hear their stories already about having to move back in after graduation with their parents, having to, you know, take time off from school because they simply aren't able to afford the tuition and fees that we're asking them to pay," he said.

Rauner proposed across the board cuts to Illinois universities.  The governor's plan gives community colleges flat funding.