Wednesday, March 16, 2016

When State Politicians Can't Compromise - Ellen Wexler, Inside Higher Ed

When Illinois failed to pass a budget back in July, Jack Thomas was sure the stalemate would end by August. But August came and went, and with no end in sight, the clock kept ticking. Illinois’s Republican governor and Democratic Legislature still haven't come to an agreement, and Thomas, president of Western Illinois University, hasn’t seen state appropriations in eight months. "We’ve put a lot on hold,” Thomas said. “We’re now having furloughs. We have a freeze on hiring. We’re restricting travel.” When the stalemate began over the summer, Illinois colleges kept their doors open, hoping that a budget would pass soon. So far, most colleges are covering the costs of 125,000 students’ Monetary Award Program grants, a state program for low-income students attending public and private colleges in Illinois.

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