WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Budget Cuts Might Spare Illinois Universities

May 28, 2013

Funding for Illinois’ public universities would stay about the same under a budget proposal released by House Democrats. That contrasts with Governor Pat Quinn’s budget, which proposes cutting university funding by 5%.

Representative Ken Dunkin (D-Chicago) said cuts can be avoided because Illinois collected an extra $1.5 billion in revenue last month.

“This is a one-time situation for right now. If we get another April surprise where we receive $1.5 billion of extra, new money because people are paying their taxes, et cetera, and we reap the benefits as a state… wow. That’s like we hit the lottery a little bit,” said Dunkin.

This is a one-time situation for right now.

Legislators had considered giving universities even more money.  

Higher education was set to receive an additional $35 million from the extra tax revenue.  Instead, Democrats are shifting those funds to school districts.

Republicans oppose this. They said universities need the money to make up for years of budget cuts.