Springfield, IL.... Today State Representative Bob Pritchard (R- Hinckley) filed legislation aimed at creating a path towards funding all of higher education in light of the budget stalemate in Springfield. The proposal is contingent on providing the Governor the tools to secure revenues and support existing spending. House Bill 4359 also includes modest, but necessary cuts. The total spending package is approximately $1.68 billion and would come from general funds. The higher education appropriations bill includes funding for universities, community colleges and Monetary Assistance grants (MAP) for low income students.
Unlike SB2043 introduced yesterday, this legislation covers more than community colleges and MAP, and provides a funding source. HB 4539, in tandem with HB4521, provides the Governor similar latitude that was given with the supplemental FY15 appropriation in March. It would give the Governor’s office the ability to manage funds and resources to adequately fund programs including higher education.
“Our universities as well as community colleges are suffering permanent damage and students are missing out on the education they deserve as a consequence of this budget impasse,” Rep Pritchard said. “It’s important that not only do we say that we are going to fund these important priorities, but we make sure that the revenues will be available and we aren’t just making empty promises by adding to the state’s unpaid bills and funding delays for all providers.”