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Righter: Speaker Madigan, House Democrats kill EIU funding legislation

Legislation that sailed through the Illinois Senate May 5 that would have directed more critical funding to Eastern Illinois University, other universities, and community colleges during the state’s ongoing budget impasse is now essentially dead, according to State Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon).

“This is yet another in the long line of examples that demonstrate Speaker Madigan is an impediment, as opposed to helpful,” Righter said. “His decision to kill this legislation to keep it from moving in the House is a disgrace. This critical funding, paid for by a specific revenue source, was the result of bipartisan negotiation and cooperation between the Governor, Senate Democrats, and Senate Republicans, that our universities, community colleges, and students desperately need. The Speaker would rather continue the political games than help our state. It’s another sad day for Illinois.”

Senate Bill 2048 would have brought parity back to the higher education system by allowing every university and community college to receive 60 percent funding during the state’s budget impasse.

Righter says he is hopeful another solution can be found very soon to give more certainty to all of higher education, as the General Assembly’s scheduled spring adjournment date is May 31.

“I will continue to speak and work closely with my legislative colleagues and leaders at Eastern Illinois University, Lake Land College, and all the other community colleges in my district to try and foster a solution,” Righter said. “So many people have endured far too much during this budget impasse. I’m sorry the Speaker can’t see that. His games must end. Too much is at stake.”