News Local/State

Rauner Takes Shot At University Spending

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner talks to the Associated Press about the year behind and the year ahead on the eve of the one-year anniversary of his taking office, at the Executive Mansion Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in Springfield Seth Perlman/Associated Press

Public universities have responded to Gov. Bruce Rauner's criticism of their spending habits. The Republican governor's deputy chief of staff sent a memo to legislators Wednesday criticizing hefty tuition hikes over the decade and wasteful spending on administration and executive compensation.  The memo also criticizes schools' use of private jets and lobbying contracts.

But the memo didn't mention steep declines in state funding during the same period.

University of Illinois President Timothy Killeen says the school has taken steps since Rauner assumed office, like putting a freeze on hiring and on tuition for in-state students.

Illinois State University spokesman Jay Groves pointed out state support for the school in Normal has dropped $8 million from what it was a decade ago.

The memo was distributed just before Senate Democrats made a public plea for reimbursing $182 million that colleges fronted last fall to pay for income-based tuition grants that the state hasn't paid for because there's no budget.