Illinois Senate Democrats followed the lead of their counterparts in the House and passed a bill to fund MAP grants onto the governor’s desk Republicans say doesn’t have a dedicated funding source and the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget recommends a veto.


In brief sessions for both the House and Senate Thursday, a bill that appropriates hundreds of millions of dollars was debated with Democrats saying the money for tuition assistance grants for eligible students is needed as students are now into the second semester of the fiscal year with no money appropriated.


Republicans decried the measure in both chambers as being an unbalanced approach because the measure isn’t directly tied to a funding source.


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Even the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget chimed in on the bill saying in a memo to the General Assembly the bill would “add $721 million to the deficit, increase the state’s bill backlog by the same and delayed state payments to providers, vendors and contractors.”


GOMB recommended the governor veto the bill if it comes to his desk, something expected after both chambers passed the bill Thursday.


Meanwhile Republicans said they have a plan that wouldn’t only free up MAP money but also funds for higher education, both of which have not been funded in the seven-month-old budget impasse.


The Republican plan would be contingent on legislation giving the governor the authority to reallocate funds and reduce spending in various ways for the current fiscal year.


(Copyright WBGZ / )