Rauner Plans to Veto MAP Grant Bill

The governor won’t sign legislation that would fund higher education for low-income students

A bill that would fund higher education for low-income students in Illinois was delivered to Gov. Bruce Rauner Tuesday although a spokesperson for his administration told Ward Room he would not sign it into law.

“Yes, he will veto it,” Catherine Kelly told Ward Room.

The bill would provide Rauner with the authority to fund Monetary Award Program (MAP) financial aid grants for low-income students at the state's universities and community colleges.

“Critical funding will keep college students on the path toward completing their degrees,” Sen. Donnie Trotter said in a statement. “I hope the governor stands with us to make college affordable and keep the doors open for our higher institutions of learning.”

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission estimates the bill would help fund MAP grant assistance for 125,000 to 130,000 eligible students.

State universities and community colleges have suffered greatly as a result of the state’s eight-month-long budget impasse. Institutions of higher education in Illinois are unsure if they will be able to continue to front money for MAP grants.

“MAP grants are absolutely vital to thousands of students across Illinois,” Sen. Laura Murphy said in a statement. “Today, I stand with these students and ask the governor to sign this legislation and invest in the future of Illinois.”

The state of Illinois has been without a budget since July of last year. The impasse has caused huge problems for state universities and community colleges, including funding of scholarships and grants.

A group of hundreds of students from across Illinois will rally Wednesday in Springfield to call for a higher education budget that would bring an end to the economic uncertainty surrounding the state’s universities and community colleges.  

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