Hammond Supports Higher Education Stopgap, Continues Work on Budget Compromise

SPRINGFIELD – Rep. Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) joined more than a half dozen of her colleagues on Tuesday at a Press Conference announcing her support for Stopgap Higher Education funding utilizing the Educational Assistance Fund (EAF) as a temporary funding source until a budget is passed.  On Friday, the Illinois legislature overwhelmingly passed the legislation suggested by this group of legislators in the Illinois House with over 100 votes in favor of the bill (SB 2059) and subsequently in the Illinois Senate as well later Friday morning.

Rep. Hammond has supported a number of bills this spring to fund Higher Education, each with designated funding sources.  The latest proposal was passed to fund state universities through August, utilizing approximately $600 million remaining in the EAF at the end of the fiscal year on June 30.  Further, the proposal is slated to provide stopgap MAP grant funding to help keep students of limited means at Illinois community colleges and state universities, in addition to over $74 million in direct funding to community colleges. 

“Let me be clear, this is not a permanent solution, but I strongly believe we need to get funding moving to keep our state universities and community colleges open.  I am pleased that cooler heads prevailed on this issue and am hopeful the Senate will also pass this lifeline to our institutions of higher education and the students they serve,” said Rep. Hammond.
Hammond was also recently appointed to be on a working group that is meeting regularly over the past week to attempt to iron out a bipartisan budget solution.  Meetings are ongoing, driven by rank-and-file members and productive thus far.  Hammond characterized the movement on higher education as a sign that, “rank-and-file members can drive compromise on these budgetary issues and I will continue to work toward compromise and real solutions.”
The stopgap measure provides approximate nearly $15 million in funding to Western Illinois University in Macomb and an additional $5 million in MAP Grant funds to WIU students.
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.