Chicago State University Responds to $600 Million Funding Fix

Chicago State University said Friday that while the approval of a $600 million spending bill to keep Illinois' public universities and colleges open through the summer is appreciated, it's not enough. 

“The entire CSU family appreciates the support of lawmakers who voted to provide these much needed funds in order to help universities continue effective operations,” the statement reads. “It should be noted however that this funding measure represents only a portion of the appropriation CSU and its sister universities are owed by the state. The amount provided is insufficient in solving the broader crisis the budget impasse has created.”

CSU has been one of the hardest hit schools in the state. The school cancelled its spring break and moved its commencement ceremonies up to April 28.

Chicago State will now receive $20 million in funding to keep the school running. Nevertheless, the university will still have to make concessions moving forward.

“While appreciative and supportive of the emergency funding, limited allocation by the state will still require CSU to make difficult cost-cutting decisions moving forward, including additional workforce reductions,” the statement read.

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office lauded the bipartisan effort.

“By passing this bipartisan agreement, lawmakers in both chambers put aside political differences to provide emergency assistance for higher education, ensuring universities and community colleges remain open and low-income students can pay for school,” Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said in a statement. “We are hopeful the General Assembly will build on this bipartisan momentum in the weeks ahead as we negotiate a balanced budget with reform for Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017.”

Rauner’s key Democratic counterpart, House Speaker Michael Madigan, placed blame on the governor for creating the dire situation.

“Governor Rauner has said that crisis creates opportunity and leverage, and that government may have to be shut down for a while,” Madigan said in a statement. “Now, he has forced a situation where some universities are on the verge of closing.”

The state's budget impasse dates back to July of last year. The stalemate has hinged on a battle over Rauner's pro-business, union-weakening Turnaround Agenda.

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