On April 25, Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law Senate Bill 2059, a stop-gap funding bill to help universities, colleges and community colleges remain operational through September, at which point they’ll start collecting their fall tuition money.
Upon signing Senate Bill 2059, Governor Rauner issued the following statement:
“This legislation doesn’t solve our budget crisis or help our economy grow, but it does represent a first step toward compromise between Democrats and Republicans. Now is the time to build on this bipartisan momentum and focus on enacting a truly balanced budget for Fiscal Years 2016-2017 alongside meaningful reforms that create jobs and free up resources for education, social services and infrastructure.”
The measure the General Assembly unanimously approved last week contains funding from the Education Assistance Fund. As a result, community colleges will receive more than $74 million; funding for MAP grants tops $169 million; and the Math and Science Academy will receive $6 million. This funding will have an immediate impact in the lives of Illinois’ residents.
During this process, Senate Republicans fought to ensure that any budget bills advanced were fully funded—not false promises like other measures recently advanced by Democrat lawmakers. As a result of this approach, and in the spirit of bipartisanship, the General Assembly can now build upon the momentum and continue working on a full budget for the fiscal year.
Legislators from both sides of the aisle know the challenges Illinois face aren’t over, but this bipartisan agreement is indicative of a desire to stop playing games and resolve the state’s issues.