Rauner talks MAP grants, Dunn says it's time - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Rauner talks MAP grants, Dunn says it's time

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Illinois -

WSIL – Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner will sign the appropriations for the Monetary Award Program, if he gets what he wants.

The Springfield Journal-Register reported Rauner will sign the legislation if he can get lawmakers on board with his plan.

He wants the general assembly to pass measures that will reform the way the state purchases.

Rauner believes the move will save the state millions of dollars.

Southern Illinois University's president Randy Dunn said the MAP grants need to come soon.

Southern has fronted nearly $18 million in hopes the state will pay them back. 

"If something happens that we would not see the reimbursement in a state budget deal for what we've already paid for MAP...we would have to go back to those students...and seek some payment from them," Dunn said. 

Southern has not yet decided if they will continue to pay for those grants if needed, in the upcoming fall semester.

But the schools are not just suffering from the MAP grants, Rauner has proposed they get a 20 percent funding cut, too.

Universities and colleges were funded at zero percent this fiscal year as a result of no state budget. Last year, Rauner proposed cutting higher education by 31 percent. This year, he decided a 20 percent cut could be enough. 

“FY 16, which hasn’t been funded, and FY17 which now debate, will center on in Springfield, that would cost over those two years, SIU as a system, 100 million dollars," Dunn said. 

And he said funding for education has been seeing cuts for a longtime, actually since former Gov. Rod Blagojevich was in office. Over the past 12 years, they have seen an accumulation of hundreds of millions of dollars in cuts. 

Southern's operational budget is about $900 million, with 25 percent coming from the state. The proposed 20 percent cut will take away $40 million from the school as a whole, $25 million just from the Carbondale campus. 

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