WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Governor Signs Bill to Partially Fund Higher Education

Apr 25, 2016

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed SB 2059 Monday morning. The bill provides a short-term appropriation to the state’s colleges and universities.

Rauner issued a written statement  about the action:

“This legislation doesn't solve our budget crisis or help our economy grow, but it does represent a first step toward compromise between Democrats and Republicans.  Now is the time to build on this bipartisan momentum and focus on enacting a truly balanced budget for Fiscal Years 2016-2017 alongside meaningful reforms that create jobs and free up resources for education, social services and infrastructure.”

The bill takes effect immediately.

Western Illinois University expects to receive $20 million -- about one-third of what Western expected for this fiscal year.

“It will allow us to put off the decision to use auxiliary funds and not go into technical default,” said Matt Bierman, WIU Budget Director.

Bierman said the stopgap funding measure will help but he emphasized WIU and other public universities in Illinois need comprehensive funding for the current fiscal year and next.