Senator Barickman votes to send additional funding to downstate colleges

SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) voted to send nearly $20 million more in state funding to Illinois State University, on top of the approximately $21 million recently appropriated, as part of package to provide additional funding to MAP grants and all downstate colleges.

“This legislation will bring our entire higher education system up to 60% funded,” said Sen. Barickman. “This is not ideal, but it will keep our colleges and universities operating, and ensure that most low-income students can remain in school.”

Senate Bill 2048 appropriates a total of $454 million, made available by other legislation that eliminates the requirement that the state repay monies borrowed from Other State Funds in Fiscal Year 2015. The legislation would also provide more than $90 million for community colleges and $46 million for MAP grant scholarships for low-income students.

Combined with Senate Bill 2059, which was recently signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner, total funding for higher education would exceed one billion dollars for Fiscal Year 2016. That funding would equal 60% of the amount appropriated for higher education in Fiscal Year 2015.

“Our goal is to use this as stepping stone toward a complete, balanced budget for the current and next fiscal years,” said Sen. Barickman. “We still have a lot of tough decisions to make, but this proves that bipartisan cooperation is still possible.”

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