Bennett2015cSPRINGFIELD – Following Gov. JB Pritzker’s budget address Wednesday, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) expressed his support of the governor’s plans to progress funding for state colleges and universities.

Pritzker’s proposal built on the progress that Illinois has made over the past year. Senator Bennett, who is best known for his efforts to make higher education more accessible, was thrilled to hear the governor prioritize college affordability.

“If we want to continue to grow as a state, we need to continue to make investments in opportunities for our children,” Bennett said. “The governor’s budget proposal focuses on keeping our best and brightest in Illinois.”

The governor’s proposal increases Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants, which provides financial assistance to Illinois residents who attend approved Illinois colleges. The proposed budget also continues investing in innovative research facilities through Discovery Partners Institute and Illinois Innovation Network.

In addition, the budget offers proactive solutions to our inherited debts by proposing to proactively stabilize College Illinois! – a prepaid tuition program that was established to make college accessible and affordable for Illinois students and families.

“I’ve always believed that higher education is the best and smartest investment that a state can make,” Bennett said. “I look forward to working toward a budget that achieves stability and certainty for the University of Illinois, Parkland College and Danville Area Community College.”

Wednesday’s proposed budget is the beginning of the fiscal process, not the end. Bennett looks forward to bipartisan negotiations this session to construct a balanced budget to provide stability and functionality for the state.

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