WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Illinois Lawmaker Pushes For Tuition-Free College

Sep 19, 2016

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign surged in part because of his tuition-free college platform. Now one of Sanders' backers --- State Representative Will Guzzardi (D-Chicago) -- is bringing that plan to Illinois.

Guzzardi said his proposal would make Illinois' public universities and community colleges a draw.

Guzzardi said if Illinois taxed wealthy people and profitable corporations at higher rates, the state could bring in enough money to do this, while also erasing the deficit.

"I think if we're going to ask the taxpayer to contribute more in order to fix this current budget crisis -- we're going to have to ask the taxpayers to contribute more. And if we're going to do that, we need to be able to say: Here's what you're going to get in exchange," he said.

Guzzardi said he'll travel to campuses around the state this fall to promote the idea.