The governor’s veto of a bill he said would add to the state’s deficit stands after the House failed to muster enough votes for an override.
Democratic Rep. Chris Welch repeated what his constituents have told him, that the Monetary Award Program is important.
“MAP matters. That’s the message I’ve been hearing from students in my district,” Welch said.
However, Republican Rep. C.D. Davidsmeier said, with more than $7 billion in backlogged bills and court orders to pay various social services in the absence of a budget, there’s no money.
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“Math matters. The dollars being there, math matters, math matters,” Davidsmeier said. “People will learn that in college, math matters.”
In the Senate, Republicans were critical of Senate Bill 2043, saying it didn’t have a funding source or fund all of higher education.
Democratic state Sen. Kimberly Lightford said the tuition assistance money would go to public and private universities.
“It’s not just Chicago State University, it’s all of our schools,” Lightford said.
However, Republican state Sen. Dale Righter said the bill doesn’t give any money to operating expenses for universities.
“So why not sit down and have a conversation about funding all three legs of the higher- education stool rather than play this game,” Righter said.
Republicans said the veto override vote was a preprimary political stunt that doesn’t recognize the lack of money to pay for the appropriation. The veto override passed in the Senate but failed in the House.
In a statement following the House vote, Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office said, “We continue to urge Democratic leaders not to recess until the General Assembly passes a bipartisan proposal to fund MAP and higher education.”
Late Wednesday evening Speaker Michael Madigan’s office said forthcoming amendments to existing bills contain “an agreed funding source and appropriations for higher education, MAP and a number of human service programs at the same level as was approved by the legislature in May 2015.”