On Monday, April 25, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation providing $600 million for the state’s public universities and community colleges, funding that may help to keep the campuses open through the summer while the budget battle between the Republican governor and Democratic legislature continues.
Rauner released a statement suggesting that the bill “doesn’t solve our budget crisis or help our economy grow, but it does represent a first step toward compromise between Democrats and Republicans. Now is the time to build on this bipartisan momentum and focus on enacting a truly balanced budget for fiscal years 2016-2017 alongside meaningful reforms that create jobs and free up resources for education, social services and infrastructure,.”
Rauner has refused to negotiate with Democrats on ways to raise revenue in order to avoid deep reductions in spending unless the Democrats first pass what his opponents have described as a “pro-business, union-busting legislative wish list.”