The Senate passed legislation May 5 to direct greater funding to students who receive Monetary Assistance Program (MAP) grants, ensure universities and community colleges can remain open, and provide more certainty for students, faculty and staff during the state’s ongoing budget impasse.
Senate Bill 2048 would bring funding for all public universities, community colleges and MAP grants, up to 60 percent. The proposal acts a supplement to another “stop-gap” appropriations bill that was recently signed into law (SB 2059), which had only provided 60 percent funding for one state university. Senate Bill 2048 would increase parity and provide significant financial relief to the other institutions of higher education, dedicating $454 million in available revenues to bring them all up to 60 percent funding.
The bipartisan approval of Senate Bill 2048 was another recent example of the willingness of Senate lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to work together to advance meaningful legislation. In late April, the Senate approved a measure (Senate Bill 2047), which the Governor has indicated he will sign, that would appropriate $441 million to help pay for critical human service programs. Despite the strong bipartisan support in the Senate, both Senate Bill 2048 and Senate Bill 2047 are now awaiting consideration in the House of Representatives. It is uncertain whether House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) will allow the proposals to be considered by House lawmakers.