SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – To keep the doors open at state universities that have gone without state funding in the absence of a state budget for 8 months, state Rep. Elgie Sims, D-Chicago, is introducing legislation that would close corporate loopholes and use those funds to support higher education and the Monetary Award Program (MAP).
“We have a responsibility to keep the commitments we made to our students to keep schools operating effectively, yet the governor is refusing to compromise on a budget to help them,” Sims said. “Due to his lack of willingness to negotiate, it is critical that we find solutions to ensure that the doors to our universities stay open. This measure will provide needed funding for our universities and students and require corporations to pay what they have not been paying for years.”
Since July, low-income college students have not received MAP grants, and universities have not received any state aid. Chicago State University is facing serious financial strain and has announced they will skip spring break and end the term early to ensure students can finish before their doors close. The university also sent notices of potential layoffs to all 900 of its employees on Friday if funding is not appropriated soon.
Sims is proposing legislation to close corporate loopholes and send approximately $800 million to MAP grants and to state universities. Sims helped organize a rally at Chicago State University for Saturday, Feb. 27 to express to the governor and the rest of the General Assembly the urgency of compromising on a budget to support higher education and low-income students.
“The state of Illinois and its students have had enough of the governor’s political games,” Sims said. “Students are being forced out of their classrooms and people are losing their jobs because he is solely focused on pushing an agenda that has been rejected time and time again by not only the General Assembly, but by taxpayers throughout the state. Operating state universities is a basic function of state government, and I urge the governor and my colleagues to take up this proposal and provide our students with the opportunity to continue the education that they have worked so hard to receive.”