Thursday, March 10, 2016

Illinois Governor Rauner tries to pin blame on Madigan for university funding crisis - Kim Geiger, Chicago Tribune

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner on Monday tried to blame House Speaker Michael Madigan for the financial crisis facing some Illinois public universities, contending the Democratic leader is holding up a compromise to agitate voters ahead of the primary election. A Madigan spokesman denied the claim, saying the speaker is working to collect votes to override Rauner's recent veto of a bill that would release $721 million to fund community colleges and tuition grants for low-income students. The exchange came as the budget impasse, which has left state government operating without full spending authority since July, threatens closures and layoffs at Illinois universities, including Chicago State and Eastern Illinois. On Monday, Rauner came out in support of another option: a bill that would employ an accounting gimmick to send $160 million to struggling colleges and universities... the speaker's office is reviewing the bill to funnel money to colleges and universities, but raised concerns that the legislation does not spell out which universities would receive the money.

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