Chicago Lawmaker Pushes For Tuition-Free College

Will Guzzardi standing at a podium at the state capitol.

Rep. Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) is pushing for a plan to provide tuition-free college in Illinois.

Dusty Rhodes/WUIS

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign surged in part because of his tuition-free college platform. Now one of Sanders' backers --- State Representative Will Guzzardi -- is bringing that plan to Illinois.

Guzzardi says it would make Illinois' public universities and community colleges a draw.

Guzzardi -- a Chicago Democrat -- says if Illinois taxed wealthy people and profitable corporations at higher rates, the state could bring in enough money to do this, while also erasing the deficit.

"I think if we're going to ask the taxpayer to contribute more in order to fix this current budget crisis, we're going to have to ask the taxpayers to contribute more. And if we're going to do that, we need to be able to say: Here's what you're going to get in exchange," he said.

Guzzardi says he'll travel to campuses around the state this fall to promote the idea. 

Story source: Illinois Public Radio