State approves partial funding for higher ed

After 10 months without a budget, legislators in Springfield today approved a stopgap funding measure for higher education that Gov. Bruce Rauner is expected to sign.baker-town-hall

Under terms of the legislation:

  • Most universities in the state, including NIU, will receive approximately 30 percent of last year’s appropriation. For NIU, that amounts to $26.4 million.
  • MAP grants will receive about 43 percent of what is needed to fund FY2016 awards.

While we are encouraged by the General Assembly’s action today, and the bipartisan spirit in which it was taken, we remain disappointed we still don’t have a full-year budget. We believe an FY16 budget and an FY17 budget solution that ensures funding for colleges and universities is required in the very near future to restore confidence in the state’s commitment to public higher education. Failure to do so will continue to impact student application and enrollment decisions, as well as employment decisions being made by faculty and staff.

We are encouraged by comments from legislators indicating they will continue to work toward completely resolving the budget impasse, and are hopeful this means further funding for FY2016 is forthcoming. There are no guarantees, however.

We will continue to study the implications of today’s actions and will provide more information at the town hall meeting scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 27, in the Regency Room of the Holmes Student Center.

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