College kids to Illinois officials: Start funding higher ed

  • Students from Dominican University in River Forest rally for higher education funding Wednesday in Springfield.

    Students from Dominican University in River Forest rally for higher education funding Wednesday in Springfield. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 4/20/2016 7:32 PM

College students Wednesday joined the chorus of protesters angry with Illinois officials for their failure to agree on a spending plan.

Protesters arrived at the Capitol from universities throughout the state. Since July 1, neither a key scholarship program in Illinois nor universities and colleges have received state money.

 

That has led to cuts and warnings of further problems at a time of year when many high school seniors are deciding whether to attend college in state.

Jacob Badagliacco, a freshman at Lake Forest College, said he's worried the state isn't paying for grants through its Monetary Award Program.

"That's a lot of money missing from my school funding," he said.

"We've had to cut programs for Alzheimer's, and that's really not something we want to be doing," Southern Illinois University School of Medicine student Thomas Hu said. "We want to be expanding our influence in the community, not making it smaller."

Democrats and Gov. Bruce Rauner have sparred over how to proceed, and the result has been a nearly 10-month budget stalemate.

Democrats have sent Rauner legislation that would authorize spending on universities and community colleges, but he argues there's no money available to send to them.

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