Representative Unes opposes “irresponsible and unfeasible” college appropriations bill

SPRINGFIELD – State Representative Mike Unes (R-East Peoria) today voiced frustration in the irresponsible political posturing that continues to take place in Springfield, resulting in an unsustainable approach to the budget process.  The instance occurred in the form of a Monetary Award Program bill (MAP grant) that was presented before the House, which included neither a funding mechanism nor the support of the governor who has promised to veto the bill.

This bill (SB 2043) promised $721 million to community colleges in Illinois without identifying or creating a funding source. 

“This is a cruel game and it is giving false hope to our current college students because without the support of both the legislative and executive branches, the bill will not pass and the funding will not be released—certainly not in time for the spring semester.  It gives even further false hope to younger students who may very well not have access to these funds for the duration of their college career due to the absence of a funding resource. ” Unes said. “I support MAP grants and I support a bill that provides funding for them. This bill is nothing but a political game designed to make a select group of politicians look good at the expense of our students and the state’s future, while unfairly depicting another group as unsympathetic towards our youth. It is exactly what is wrong with the current environment in Springfield.” 

In response to the higher education funding crisis, Rep. Unes supports a bill that not only provides funding, but also a high degree of long-term certainty for our state’s current and future students.  It is Unes’ position that neither is possible without a budget.

“Sadly, there just isn’t trust and certainty right now in Springfield,” Unes said. The games need to stop and all sides need to get serious, act like adults, and collaboratively work together on the budget impasse,” Unes added.

Despite significant concern and opposition, SB2043 passed the House today 67-42.