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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Higher Ed Leaders Share Thoughts On Budget Cuts


Higher education will see a funding cut next year, but Democrats want to lessen the impact compared to what the Republican governor called for.  

Governor Bruce Rauner suggested a more than 30 percent reduction. Democrats are proposing a 6.5 percent cut to universities. 

Republicans voted against the Democrats' measure in committee. GOP Representative Mark Batinick from Plainfield says the cost of doing business in Illinois is too high. That includes the business of higher education. 

"The reality is, versus other states, we actually dramatically overfund education--higher education--yet we're not seeing it in the tuition for the students," Batinick said.

Despite the cuts, Democrats propose an increase for MAP grants, which make college more affordable for low-income students.

Meanwhile, leaders of the state's nine public universities were all in Springfield Tuesday for a joint meeting with the state's top politicians. They met with the Senate President, House Speaker and the governor's chief of staff while budget discussions continue.

The university leaders say they wanted to demonstrate the importance of investing in higher education. Those leaders included Northern Illinois University board chairs.

  • Lisa Ryan and Amanda Vinicky contributed to this report.
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