Illinois Governor Turns Back on the Needy and Higher Education

BY PETER N. KIRSTEIN

Right-wing ideologue, Governor Bruce Rauner, has indeed demonstrated his disdain for the vulnerable and marginalised working class of Illinois. A bright, luminous red-state reactionary in blue-state, pro-union, pro-labour Illinois, he has vetoed a bill that would have given $721,000,000 to help fund higher education for income-challenged students.

The Illinois General Assembly, which marked the beginning of Barack Hussein Obama’s political journey as a state senator, had passed the bill several weeks ago. The programme is known as the Monetary Award Program but is almost always referred to as M.A.P. It provides an average of about $2800 to low-income students that defrays tuition at state and private universities across the state of Illinois.

One of the recipients of M.A.P. money is Chicago State University–a predominantly African-American public university. While C.S.U. has a history of fiscal mismanagement, its students may find themselves without a university come March. The institution states it will not be able to make payroll due to the Rauner war on higher education, and his scorched-earth campaign against Illinois residents who are too poor to pay college tuition.

Governor Rauner’s veto is part of a larger battle in reaching a budget in a state with admittedly extreme and severe financial challenges due to decades of mismanagement. Mr Rauner, a Republican, was elected governor largely as a demand for greater fiscal responsibility. He was not elected to deny education to the poor; he was not elected to use his power and authority to destroy the higher-education system in the state; he was not elected to terminate possibly the capacity of many tuition-driven universities–such as my own–and colleges to continue functioning without state support.

This governor of ours owns nine homes, and his annual income was about $53,000,000 before he became governor in 2014. Mr Rauner was chairperson of R8 Capital Partners, and ran the private-equity firm GTCR whose headquarters are in Chicago.

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