GSU Addresses Illinois Budget
Illinois is hovering on the verge of entering its third consecutive year without a budget.While legislators have been called to a Special Session in Springfield that hopes to end this unprecedented fiscal standoff between the General Assembly and Governor Bruce Rauner, funding for all public colleges and universities hangs in the balance.
At the start of this Special Session, presidents from nine state universities, including GSU President Elaine P. Maimon, sent a letter to Governor Rauner, Senate President Cullerton, Senate Minority Leader Radogno, House Speaker Madigan, and House Minority Leader Durkin that acknowledges the struggle of their task while pleading the case—again—for higher education.
Maureen Kelly, Director of Governmental and Community Relations for GSU, has penned the following missive to the Governors State community, and she urges everyone to contact their elected officials.
Once again, the May 31, 2017 Illinois Legislative deadline has passed without a funding agreement reached between the Illinois General Assembly and the Governor regarding a budget for Fiscal Year 2018. We are now approaching an unprecedented third year without a Higher Education State budget.
In Fiscal Year 2016, Public Universities were forced to operate with a 70% cut in State appropriations based on 2015 Fiscal Year funding. Regarding current funding, we have experienced a 50% cut for Fiscal Year 2017.
In addition, this past year the State of Illinois has so far failed to appropriate promised funding to eligible students for the Monetary Award Program (MAP). Governors State University intends to cover this broken promise to our students for Academic Year (AY), 2016-17, but it’s only right and just for Illinois to reimburse for this year’s MAP funding and to make a plan to fulfill its promises for next year, AY 2017-18.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank our local legislators who have been supportive of GSU and the continued funding of Illinois Higher Education.
By the end of the current Fiscal Year, June 30, 2017, we hope to see agreement from the State of Illinois regarding funding for Higher Education. With the deadline quickly approaching, we encourage you to contact your Legislators and the Governor of Illinois to stress the importance of funding Higher Education, especially GSU. Please feel free to show your gratitude and if appropriate, encourage them to continue to strive toward a State-wide Higher Education budget including the support of GSU.