A new proposal in the General Assembly would appropriate money for a state university that Gov. Bruce Rauner said has been “abusing taxpayer dollars for years.”
The school is Chicago State University, which said in a recent letter it will run out of money by March 1 as a result of receiving no state funding since the beginning of the current fiscal year in July.
State Sen. Emil Jones III (D-Chicago) plans to introduce legislation to appropriate funds to the school.
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“This budget impasse has a lot of students stressed out about their future. The majority of the students affected by Rauner’s tactics are students who don’t come from the best backgrounds, but are trying to achieve more to build their community,” Jones said.
When asked how much money would go to the school, Jones said it would be “at the level the governor originally proposed.”
A recent state financial audit of Chicago State says the university received more than $38 million in state funding in the last fiscal year.
The same audit criticized the school for inaccurate accounting practices for giving employees extra paid time off they hadn’t accrued.
Rauner has said he is concerned about the students at the predominantly African-American school, but was critical of administrators’ role in creating its current financial condition.
“They have been abusing taxpayer dollars, wasting money and doing self-dealing for years. For them to all of a sudden go, ‘Hey, we’re sort of more broke than most,’ while they’ve been throwing money down the toilet, you know what, let’s have some standards of behavior,” Rauner said at a press conference Thursday.
A memo from Rauner’s legislative liaison, Richard Goldberg, cited instances such as a November 2015 indictment involving a school vice president who hired her own mother for a job she didn’t perform, and a $3 million settlement paid by the school to a former employee fired for reporting misconduct by the university president.