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Illinois Governor, Senate President Spar Over Bill Funding MAP Grants

Brian Mackey/Illinois Public Radio

The President of the Illinois Senate, a Democrat,  is encouraging Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner to rethink his priorities on student aid legislation, but the governor was quick to repeat his promise of a veto.

Senate President John Cullerton says he'll hold onto the legislation until Feb. 16 to give the governor time to "cool off," then he'll send it along.

In a statement, Cullerton urges Rauner to "not act rashly, but in the best interest of students."

Illinois is now in its eighth month without a budget. It's been that long since the state funded higher education --- including for the Monetary Award Program, or MAP.

Low-income students use MAP grants to help pay for tuition. 

Legislation that Democrats approved last week would cover the grants. Rauner immediately promiseded he would veto the bill.

The governor's staff took no time to indicate Rauner isn't changing his mind -- because there's no way to pay.

The governor does back a GOP proposal to fund higher education that gives him extra latitude to unilaterally manage the budget.

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.
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