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Senate Dems to stall sending higher ed funding bill to Governor

Senate Dems to stall sending higher ed funding bill to Governor

SPRINGFIELD– The Senate President is playing politics with a bill that appears doomed on arrival. That’s according to Governor Bruce Rauner’s office in response to Senate President John Cullerton calling for a cooling-off period before sending over a tuition assistance bill.


Senate Bill 2043, which Democrat majorities say will fund MAP grants for eligible students, passed the legislature last week despite minority Republicans pointing out the governor intends to veto the bill because it’s not tied to any funding stream.


Senate President John Cullerton’s office issued a news release Monday saying he’s waiting until February 16th to send the bill to the governor so the governor will “rethink his veto announcement.”


Cullerton’s office said the state isn’t honoring its commitment to students and urged the governor rethink his position and “not act rashly but rather in the best interest of these students.”


Governor Bruce Rauner’s office responded saying there’s no way to pay for SB 2042. The administration has offered a path toward compromise. A statement from Rauner’s office says the governor has agreed “to sign legislation that funds MAP, community colleges and universities tied to ways to pay for the programs.”


The governor’s office says “rather than playing politics with a dead piece of legislation, we urge the Senate to focus on finding real solutions and vote next week on legislation that would fund MAP grants with a fiscally responsible way to pay for them.”


During debate last week Republicans said there’s a plan that would fund MAP grants, community colleges and higher education tied to another measure to give the governor broader authority in managing the state’s resources.


A memo from the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget last week recommended the bill be vetoed because without a funding stream the measure would add hundreds of millions of to the state’s deficit.