- Published: Thursday, January 28, 2016 03:11 PM
Students who rely on state support to pay for college deserve the tuition assistance they were promised so they can continue their education while the state’s budget impasse drags on, Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) said Thursday.
Biss on Thursday voted in favor of Senate Bill 2043, which provides more than $397 million for the Illinois Monetary Assistance Program, as well as other spending for higher education.
“The current situation is an outrage, and I am very disappointed that we continue to vote on piecemeal steps rather than a comprehensive, sustainable and fair solution to our fiscal problems,” Biss said. “However, given the choice between taking this one step today or instead continuing to unnecessarily punish low-income college students, passage of this bill was the far better option.”
Senate Bill 2043 does the following:
• Authorizes $397.1 million for the MAP program, an increase of $32 million over the previous fiscal year. Last year MAP grants were provided to about 128,000 low-income college students. The increase this year would enable an additional 15,000 eligible students to attend college.
• Provides more than $260 million for operations at community colleges throughout the state.
• Provides nearly $14 million to support operations at the City Colleges of Chicago.
• Provides $49.8 million for statewide career and technical education, as well as GED programs.
The legislation passed both houses of the legislature. It now goes to Gov. Bruce Rauner for his signature.