Illinois' flagship public university is trying to preserve as much state funding as it can. College leaders are telling lawmakers a proposed 31 percent reduction in state funding will hurt. “We provide a number of services to the state that we will have to examine” if a $200 million cut is reality, said president Robert Easter, citing a Chicago hospital “with 600,000 patients annually. We operate an airport in Champaign-Urbana; the chancellor is in conversation with local leaders about how the cost of that be more broadly offloaded.”
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Not to mention the rising cost of things; Easter told State Sen. Scott Bennett (D-Champaign), who asked if the university is simply too expensive to attend, that the 60 percent in the middle is squeezed the hardest.