House Republican Leader Jim Durkin chastised Democrats Leaders in a spirited floor debate regarding the legitimacy of an initiative Democrats claim would fund portions of Illinois’ higher education community.
“Democrats are playing a cruel hoax on college students desperate for their MAP funding by allowing them to believe that they will get their MAP funding by voting on legislation that has no funding mechanism behind it,” said Durkin. “What transpired on the House floor today was just more of the same garbage we have been subjected to over the last year. When will Democrat leaders get it through their heads that the revenue is not there to fulfill these promises? It is getting tiresome and quite frankly it is wrong.”
Democrats called for a vote today Senate Bill 2043 to appropriate $721 million for the Monetary Award Program (MAP) funds as well as operational funding for community colleges. During the attempt, sponsors glossed over the fact that the Illinois comptroller is sitting on over $6 billion in unpaid bills and this measure will only exasperate that fact.
Republicans offered an alternative proposal (House Bill 4539) which realistically would have funded not only the MAP program and community colleges, but also our state university system.
The proposal would have been contingent on a second piece of legislation providing the Governor latitude to manage state finances. The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget weighed in on the proposal articulating the fact that HB 4521 would grant the Governor authority to respond to an unbalanced budget by reallocating funds and reducing spending in various ways.
“I called upon House Democrat leaders and the sponsor of the bill to work with us to reconcile the legislation – they refused,” said Durkin. “They continue to stone-wall efforts to work together to get something actually done, preferring instead to make false promises that they can’t keep.”