Rauner signs $600M aid for struggling colleges

- Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation authorizing $600 million in emergency funding to keep major Illinois universities operating until fall.

The Republican signed the bill Monday after a debate last week over the temporary spending plan in the General Assembly.

The package includes $170 million for the Monetary Award Program, a needs-based grant that colleges doled out this past school year without state reimbursement.

Rauner and Democrats who control the Legislature have been unable to agree on a plan for the budget year that began July 1.

In a statement Monday, the first-term governor said the law doesn't solve the crisis but is "a first step toward compromise."

He wants business reforms and union-power curbs while working with Democrats to reduce the deficit.

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The bill is SB2059.

Online: http://www.ilga.gov

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