Illinois GOP Calls Democrats’ College Spending Bill A Hoax
Illinois Democrats have approved $721.5 million for tuition grants and community colleges, but Republicans call it an empty promise because the state still doesn't have a budget.
The funding measure sent to Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner Thursday allocates $324.4 million to community colleges for operating costs and $397.1 million to the Monetary Award Program for low-income students.
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs called the Democrats' proposal "a cruel hoax'' because there's no funding source for it. He says Rauner has already indicated he'll veto the bill.
Republicans say they want to help colleges and students, but argue the state should pass a full budget.
Rep. John Bradley (D-Marion) says in recent years, John A. Logan College has lost more than 16 percent of its employees. Unless the state comes through with funding, he says it could lose more.
"That's a 200 employee reduction in an economic engine, an educational institution, in a rural area of our state, in the last six years," he said. "Cuts have taken place. Cuts are taking place. We need to do our jobs and fund these institutions."
Democrats say colleges and students are in desperate need for money because they've gotten no state funding since July 1, when the budget should've taken effect.