Representative Chad Hays to Sponsor Bill to Fund Higher Education During Budget Stalemate

In an effort to ensure that Illinois’ colleges, universities and community colleges receive the funding needed to continue educating students during the budget impasse, State Representative Chad Hays (R-Catlin) is filing legislation that would provide critical dollars to institutions that have not seen a dime in state revenue this fiscal year.

The legislation’s enactment would be contingent upon the passage of a second piece of legislation, HB 4521 (Durkin), the Unbalanced Budget Response Act. HB 4521 would provide the Governor with emergency spending power and a significant amount of latitude to assist with managing the state’s finances during the ongoing budget stalemate. “This is a legislative solution that is well past-due,” said Hays, who represents many citizens who attend or work at the University of Illinois at Champaign/Urbana, or at the Parkland or Danville Area Community Colleges. “Whereas other higher education funding proposals on the table have called for funding our institutions of higher learning without identifying a revenue source, this package would provide the Governor with the latitude to manage this crisis.”

The higher education funding bill includes the following funding levels:
  • Four-year Colleges/Universities: 80%
  • Two-year Community Colleges: 90%
  • MAP Grants: 100% funding at 2015 levels
According to Hays, the total package includes approximately $1.68 billion in funding which is tied to the Governor’s ability to take action only if the Unbalanced Budget Response Act is also approved. “Our two and four-year institutions of higher learning are at a breaking point with regard to their ability to keep their doors open,” said Hays. “Since every member of the General Assembly represents at a minimum one community college district, with many of us also representing other colleges too, my hope is that both measures receive prompt consideration and approval. The Governor is in support of this package and helped collaborate on it. I would implore my colleagues in the House and Senate to take swift action on these bills.”