Other stories on the apparent progress toward a stopgap budget can be found at the State Journal-Register and Southern.
Based on further clarifications and changes, we are expecting the General Assembly to vote on legislation that will provide approximately $1 billion for higher education. House Bill 4168 and Senate Bill 2056 contain identical language for higher education funding and are currently pending consideration by the General Assembly. The situation in Springfield is still fluid. Bill numbers and provisions might change.
While the currently proposed provisions will help resolve some of the immediate financial uncertainty facing our institutions, the proposal does not appear to provide MAP funding for the upcoming academic year. Additionally, when combined with the earlier stop gap budget bill, the state would fund CSU, EIU, and WIU at 90% funding compared to FY 15. Likewise, NEIU, NIU, GSU, U of I System, ISU, and SIU would be funded at 82% funding compared to FY 15. Importantly, this combined amount is for both the Fiscal 16 and Fiscal 17 and only intended to put our institutions in a position to complete the upcoming Fall semester.
As of now, the bills would provide:
$151 million for MAP (the approximate cost of the 2 nd semester of 2016 MAP Grants)
Our public institutions would receive:
CSU - $12.5 million
EIU - $26.2 million
GSU - $12.7 million
NEIU – $19.5 million
NIU - $48.2 million
WIU - $31.3 million
U of I System - $350.5 million
ISU - $38.2 million
SIU - $106.6 million$20 million for the IBHE to “patch holes”We are deeply troubled with these ongoing cuts and remain alarmed about how the lack of MAP funding for the upcoming year will do nothing to prevent students from leaving the state. Our most at need students will continue to face personal financial uncertainty regarding their ability to earn and/or complete their degrees.
We ask that you continue to put pressure on your State Senator and Representative to fully fund MAP grants and our institutions. The ongoing financial crisis will only continue to harm our institutions and our students. You can find your legislators contact information at: http://hqsalsa.wiredforchange.com/o/5950/getLocal.jsp.
Please let them know that while SB 2056 and HB 4168 will help in the short-term, our students deserve better!