Springfield, IL – Universities, community colleges, and the Monetary Award Program (Map grants), would receive crucial funding, under legislation co-sponsored by State Sen. Sue Rezin. The funding is tied to much needed reforms to the way institutions purchase things, known as procurement.
“This is a good first step to help our universities and community colleges, which have been limping along without funding during this budget impasse,” Rezin said. “Illinois Valley Community College in Oglesby is already experiencing how dire the situation is, and I’m particularly concerned for students who receive a MAP grant. This legislation would free up resources and give universities much-needed flexibility when it comes to spending.”
Due to the state’s ongoing budget impasse, higher education and the MAP grant program have gone unfunded.
Rezin’s proposal would allow for:
· Four-year colleges/universities to be funded at 80% of 2015 funding levels;
· Two-year community colleges to be funded at 90% of 2015 funding levels;
· MAP grants to be funded at 100% of 2015 funding levels.
Rezin says universities and community colleges could help make up the difference in lower funding levels through Senate Bill 2360, procurement reform legislation. SB 2360 is estimated to save taxpayers approximately $500 million a year.
“All too often, when institutions are purchasing things, the lowest bidder is not chosen, due to Illinois’ complex procurement rules,” Rezin said. “This results in a tremendous amount of wasteful spending. As an example, the University of Illinois President testified at a legislative hearing in 2015 that Illinois’ procurement code could cost the U of I as much as $70 million a year. This is unacceptable. Reforming the procurement system is common sense. It would save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars and would allow for higher education to better manage their finances.”
Rezin is hopeful these proposals receive a hearing in Springfield next week, when legislators return to the Capitol Feb. 10.
“Republicans now have several proposals filed that would fund higher education and the MAP grant program,” Rezin said. “Under several Democrat proposals, somebody is left out. Whether it’s the universities or students who receive MAP grants. I look forward to working with all my legislative colleagues in getting something that is real to the Governor’s desk.”