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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Illinois Group Plans Student Rally For Budget Agreement


The Illinois Legislative Black Caucus plans to organize students to demonstrate over the holiday break if an agreement to end the budget impasse is not reached.

The protest subject will be MAP grants for lower-income students, which have not been funded this fiscal year because of the lack of a spending plan.

Senator Kimberly Lightford, a Maywood Democrat, is the chairwoman of the caucus. 

“We’re hoping that we can work with these students over the break and find a way to insure them back into our higher education system and return for their spring semester. And so, if it’s that we need to gather them up to rally, then that’s what we’ll do,” Lightford said.

Lightford says a rally would likely occur in early January at the Thompson Center, where Governor Bruce Rauner’s Chicago office is located.

As many as 130 thousand students would be eligible MAP grants for this fiscal year, but the impasse has prevented awards, according to the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

Some schools have fronted the money for tuition and fees.

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