Rep. Wehrli Sponsors Realistic Emergency Funding For Higher Education – Speaker, Democrats Offer More Empty Promises

With Illinois college and university budgets stretched beyond their breaking point, State
Representative Grant Wehrli said he’s disappointed and angry that Speaker Madigan today stalled consideration of a realistic plan to provide emergency funding, and instead pushed a Democrat-sponsored plan that simply offers more empty promises.

“This week several of my House Republican colleagues and I introduced an emergency plan that would provide a real path to securing emergency funding for the rest of this fiscal year for four-year universities and community colleges, and to also fund MAP grants that students depend upon. It deserves an immediate vote,” Representative Wehrli said.

Rep. Wehrli’s bill, House Bill 4539, would provide: approximately $1.68 billion that would come from general revenue to adequately fund colleges and universities, and students’ MAP grants. It is contingent on the passage of the recently filed Unbalanced Budget Response Act – legislation that would afford the Governor ability to manage monies in existing funds to adequately fund programs including higher education.

Speaker Madigan promptly buried the Republican proposal, and instead pushed a House vote on Senate Bill 2043, which, according to the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, “…provides no funding source to pay for the additional spending…” (click here for the full GOMB analysis)

“Not only is the Democrat bill another empty promise, it completely excludes our four-year colleges and universities that desperately need their funding,” Rep. Wehrli said. “Today, I voted ‘no’ on this Democrat sham bill. I am going to continue to work to pass legislation that provides the real, tangible funding our universities and students deserve.”