MACOMB – Earlier today, Speaker Madigan and his supermajority called two bills (SB 2990 and HB 648) which purported to be a compromise measure funding higher education and other services in Illinois. 

“This legislation, unfortunately, was far from a genuine compromise effort.  The bill language was filed overnight after committees ended for the day, did not go through the appropriations committee process and members of the minority party were not invited to participate in this process.  Once again, this legislation was disingenuous and indicated a complete unwillingness to compromise on behalf of the supermajority party,” said Hammond.

“Expenditures in these bills wildly exceeded $3 billion in spending.  We currently have a backlog of bills of $7.5 billion. No revenue source was identified for the funding gap existing in this legislation; unlike the bills I have supported to fund higher education.  I am trying every day for true compromise to fund higher education, as well as our service providers in a balanced way and remove seniors and our state universities from the crossfire of obstructionist political proposals like the ones we saw this week,” Hammond continued.

Following the vote on these two bills, the Speaker moved to adjourn until April 4th, a full month from today. “House Republicans made a motion to not adjourn and resume compromise negotiations to occur on March 4, but the Speaker ruled the motion out of order,” Hammond said on Thursday, noting that the Illinois House is not scheduled to go back into Session until Monday, April 4th.

Hammond encouraged residents of the 93rd district to contact her with questions or concerns on this or any other state issue. Hammond’s Macomb district office can be contacted at (309) 836-2707 and she can be reached via e-mail at rephammond@macomb.com. Constituents can also visit her legislative website at www.norinehammond.org to sign up for her electronic newsletter.

Hammond represents all or part of Brown, Cass, and Fulton, Knox, Mason, McDonough, Schuyler and Warren counties.
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Springfield, IL… On the heels of the Senate’s override of the Governor’s veto of Senate Bill 2043, House Republicans from across Illinois joined together to reiterate their willingness to compromise and arrive at a responsible solution to fund Illinois’ higher educational community.  

“Today’s veto override in the Senate is unfortunate given we’re all here today to reiterate our willingness to compromise on this issue to bring about a reasonable solution,” said State Representative Dan Brady (R-Normal), who serves as the Minority Spokesman on the House Higher Education-Appropriations Committee.  “We can’t continue down the road of calling adversarial votes that don’t benefit students or universities.  It will only further the divide in Springfield.” 

The group of legislators cited several bills that have been presented including Rep. Brady’s House Bill 4539 which sought to reasonably fund not only MAP grants and community colleges, but also the operational budgets of our State’s four-year universities excluded from the Democrat proposal. 

“Repeatedly, we have heard from our four-year State Universities that their priority is receiving Operating Funds in order to continue their services without major interruption. SB 2043 did not include any Operating Funds for State Universities,” said Norine Hammond (R, Macomb) who represents Western Illinois University.  “We must have a comprehensive solution that funds higher education. There are multiple bills with funding sources attached.  These bills combined are the start of a solution. We are here to strongly advocate for compromise in order to resolve this urgent issue.”

During the original debate on Senate Bill 2043, House Republicans noted the oversimplification of the Democrat sponsor Kelly Burke’s explanation of how exactly the State of Illinois would pay for the MAP grants and community college payments.   They took specific exception with the implication that the Illinois Comptroller could simply prioritize the spending. 

“With $32 billion in revenue already spoken for through court orders, consent decrees and continuing appropriations, simply passing an appropriations bill without funding solutions is completely disingenuous,” said Representative Tim Butler (R, Springfield).  The math is pretty simple; troubling, but simple.”
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