UPDATE (5:45pm) – The IL House failed to override the measure. Legislators voted 69-41. The override needed 71 votes.
Legislators in the Senate, along partisan lines, have voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s (R-IL) veto of a bill which would have funded Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants for lower income college students in Illinois.
Rauner vetoed the spending bill, criticizing Democrats for putting, what he called, a budget busting bill on his desk without any means to pay for it.
The state is already bleeding cash without a budget, at a rate of more than $6 billion for the fiscal year, according to the Comptroller’s Office.
Nonetheless, State Sen. Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) voted to override Rauner’s veto, because of the severe impact a lack of MAP grant funding is having on Stateline area colleges. He noted in a statement that Rock Valley College has had to lay off 30 employees, and is threatening to implement tuition hikes, because of the lack of funding.
“How high will Rock Valley College have to hike tuition before the governor realizes higher education has to be a priority for Illinois? We cannot continue to hold students and employees hostage because of these ongoing political games in Springfield,” said Stadelman in a statement.
The bill now goes to the House.
“SB 2043 can only become law if Representative Franks or Representative Drury succumb to pressure from Speaker Madigan and flip their votes to force a massive tax hike on the people of Illinois,” Gov. Rauner said in a statement. “These members sided with taxpayers the first time around because this is a sham bill and an empty promise to students … All of us want to fund higher education and MAP, and we stand ready to work with the General Assembly to find ways to do so without adding to the deficit or forcing a massive tax increase.”