Illinois lawmakers have approved a $600 million short-term funding infusion for higher education institutions that have been struggling financially due to not receiving state money during the state budget impasse.
The Senate unanimously approved the deal on Friday after House members gave the OK with a 106-2 vote. Governor Rauner issued a statement through his spokesperson indicating he would approve the appropriation.
The emergency funding provides Illinois State University with nearly $21 million, about 31 percent of what the university received for fiscal 2015, the last year of full funding. The deal also sends about $7.5 million to ISU for Monetary Award Program funding for low-income students. That's about half of the amount ISU has set aside for MAP.
President Larry Dietz said he's thrilled about the agreement but points out it's just a stop-gap measure.
"We strongly encourage the same cooperative spirit that existed to get us this far," he said. "To go back and address the remainder of the FY '16 appropriation and give us some stability for FY '17 and beyond."
Dietz said he detected a renewed spirit over the past few weeks for lawmakers and the governor to get at least a partial funding package approved by the end of the academic year.
Heartland Community College will receive just under $700,000 plus money for MAP funding equivalent to about one semester, according to HCC president Rob Widmer. Private institutions will also be receiving MAP funding under terms of the agreement.