Rita Mayfield's Statement on Emergency Funding



… From State Representative Rita Mayfield
April 21, 2016 State Rep. Rita Mayfield 847-599-2800

Mayfield to Provide Emergency Funding to Higher Education Institutions

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – After introducing a proposal to provide stop-gap funding to institutions of higher education that are in peril and on the verge of closure, State Rep. Rita Mayfield, D-Waukegan, issued the following statement:

“Over the past 10 months, we have seen a predicament that I cannot call anything short of a true hostage situation. With the inability to reach a full Fiscal Year 2016 budget, we have seen higher education institutions made into victims of circumstance caused by the governor’s refusal to negotiate and come to a commonsense budget solution. As amended, the bill I presented today is one that is intended to provide temporary relief to universities that are relying on this legislature at a time where they are on the verge of catastrophe. The only historically black university in our state, Chicago State University, is literally days from closing its doors for good and I refuse to stand idly by and allow its lights to go out. If we were to see a halt for Chicago State, it would only be the first domino a line of many, just waiting to fall. Eastern Illinois University, Western Illinois University, and others will fall and crumble at the hands of a man who has shown that the most vulnerable people in this state are at the bottom of his list of priorities.

“This bill is not intending to supplement as a higher education line item for the entire FY16, but is meant to provide stop-gap funding to the institutions that are most in need. If someone alleges that this bill is an attempt at full funding this line item for FY16, it would be akin to saying that they are not willing to negotiate any further on the matter. We will continue negotiations, but in this moment, the legislature has been forced to step up to a crisis created by the Governor, who has vetoed funding for higher education over and over.

“Today we sent stop gap legislation to the Governor’s desk that will: keep CSU’s doors open, provide some MAP funding for low income students and provide some necessary relief to community colleges. The bottom line is that we have a duty to the people of this state. That duty
is to not only say that we believe in them, but to genuinely prove it by funding our future.”

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