Saved By The Bell
By Ken Hare
Chicago Defender Staff Writer
Chairman of the Illinois Black Caucus, Rita Mayfield
The Chicago Defender has just learned that Senate Bill 2059, has passed both houses and is now on its way to Governor Rauner’s desk, to await his signature for passage.
At a press conference held today at the state Capital, the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus announced: “What we did today was a very good thing. We actually did save CSU. Without this appropriation bill that we put in place, CSU’s doors would have closed next week,” stated Rita Mayfield, Chairman of the Black Caucus (D – Waukegan).
Along with Senate Appropriations Chairman, Donne Trotter (D-Chicago), Representative Mayfield, and other members of the Illinois Black Caucus were passionate about their efforts to put emergency, stopgap, funding measures in place to save higher education, not only in Chicago but throughout the entire state.
Public, higher education institutions in Illinois have been under the constant threat of budgetary cuts, and closure, or both, due to the state not having a budget since last summer, 2015. “As a Black caucus we could not have allowed that to happen,” she said.
Flanked by several junior members of the caucus; Senator Trotter spoke on the issue of the public safety net, stating: “Our job down here in Springfield is to enhance and enrich the quality of life, of the people of Illinois. We did that in part today and it was a bipartisan effort.”
Senate Bill 2059, provides $600 million from the Education Assistance Funds (EAF), for operations funding for all nine public universities, the Illinois Math and Science Academy and the City Colleges of Chicago. And, the measure also provides base operation and equalization grants for community colleges and MAP Grants.
“We’re going to continue to fight, continue to work, and Human Services is going to be next,” assured Chairman Rita Mayfield, referring to those that are waiting in the wings for the caucus to respond to their concerns.
Visit here to see the press conference in its entirety:
Stay tuned for further developments…