While a group of lawmakers push for tax-funded grants to low income students, the governor’s office says there needs to be spending reforms at institutions of higher learning to save taxpayers money.

A memo from the governor’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Legislative Affairs, Richard Goldberg, says “appropriating hundreds of millions of dollars in General Revenue Funds for MAP or general higher education without finding offsets – whether in the form of spending reductions or cost-saving reforms – could trigger a cash flow crisis in Illinois.”

The memo cites examples like the use of private jets, golden parachutes for people forced to resign and even using state dollars to lobby the state.


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Democratic Senator Bill Cunningham says there are several bills lawmakers could take action on in the next several weeks to address some of the problems like “excessive compensation, lack of transparency in awarding contracts,” Cunningham said. “I think those are all bipartisan reforms.”

But Cunningham says the proposed reforms won’t free up enough money to cover the MAP grants.

The memo from the governor’s office says the administration “stands ready to work with any member of the General Assembly who wants to find a sensible and responsible way to fund MAP and higher education without triggering a cash flow crisis by tying such funding to spending reductions in other areas.”