There's plenty of state spending, even though the legislature never passed a budget that the governor would sign. An exception to that spending is $373 million the governor proposed for the MAP grants. The Monetary Assistance Program helps college students, and the Senate Wednesday passed a bill to restore that money. “The crux of the issue here,” argued Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont), “is that we're spending at the rate of $38 billion a year without a budget, with only about $32 or $33 billion in revenue. And, since budgeting is about choices, we're closing our windows on choices of how we might manage taxpayer dollars best.”
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Randy Dunn, president of Southern Illinois University, said the issue is important enough to draw him away from student move-in activities. “Half of the students who still identify as a student of color are getting some sort of MAP support,” he told lawmakers. “57 percent of these studenst are also first-generation college-goers.” The bill now goes to the House, which is in next week. SB 2043 has passed the Senate, 37-0-14.