A bill has passed through the Illinois House and Senate that would reportedly give funding to MAP Grants, something that many people believe is long overdue. Democratic Senator Kimberly Lightford says that this measure is needed in order to provide eligible students a chance that they may not otherwise have.
"I think this gives us an awesome opportunity to tell people that we really care about them, that we want to help them..."
Kimberly Lightford, Illinois Senator
This issue is currently coming under a lot of fire, however, due to the lack of a clear funding source. Republican Senator Matt Murphy said that the measure is just an empty gesture to gain favor.
"...Because we don't have enough money. This isn't creating 721 Million new dollars."
Matt Murphy, Illinois Senator
Republican Senator Dale Righter agrees with Murphy, saying that the affected people will see right through the bill, and accuse Congress of toying with them. The bill, which currently sits on the Governor's desk, is expected to be vetoed by Rauner because without a clear funding source, the bill will only add to the state's $4.5 Billion defecit. Republican legislators do have a counter-proposal in the works that they say will fund higher educaiton and MAP Grants, but also a measure that would give the Governor more power over the budget in being able to reduce spending and reallocate funds in various ways. Macomb Representative Norine Hammond has put her support behind this new proposal, calling the Democrat's bill "disingenuous," and criticizing it for only tackling some of the problem.