The Mess in Illinois

These are the opening paragraphs of a news story by Mike Riopell in the Chicago Daily Record:

“A suburban Republican lawmaker wants to send Illinois universities four months’ worth of state funding to try to ensure they open their doors for the next school year.

“The ‘stopgap’ proposal from state Rep. Mike Fortner, a West Chicago Republican, follows a handful of other plans that have been debated in Springfield but all failed as Democratic leaders and Gov. Bruce Rauner continue their nearly yearlong war over the state budget.

“But a spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan called the idea a ‘distant third-place’ among proposals to pay for higher education in Illinois, putting its future in question.

“In the meantime, state Rep. Rita Mayfield, a Waukegan Democrat, has won preliminary approval for a competing plan that would send out less money than Fortner’s but would focus on the universities deemed to be the most desperate and unlikely to open in the fall–Chicago State University, Eastern Illinois University, Western Illinois University, and Northeastern Illinois University.

“State universities, community colleges and the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in Aurora have gone without state money since July 1. . . .”


Riopell’s complete story is available at:



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