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During the House floor debate on Friday, State Representative Dan Brady stood up to join House Republicans in calling for a commitment toward a budget solution and compromise. Brady stood in support of remaining in Springfield through the weekend to continue working toward a bipartisan solution to our State’s budget impasse. 

Rank and file members, including Rep. Brady,  have been participating in working groups aimed at bridging the gap and coming up with both reforms and budgetary compromises, but Speaker Madigan continues to dismiss these efforts saying they haven’t made progress. He's wrong.

Representative Brady is committed to reaching a responsible, bipartisan budget compromise.
Despite action by Speaker Madigan to derail bi-partisan budget negotiations, State Representative Dan Brady on Wednesday stressed the need for rank and file legislators to continue to work together to reach a responsible budget compromise.
New Higher Education stop-gap funding proposal signed into law

I’m pleased to report that finally emergency funding is on its way to universities, community colleges, and students waiting for their MAP grants.

The new plan passed last week and signed into law Monday is a bi-partisan effort on which I worked diligently. It will provide $600 million from the Educational Assistance Fund to fund a four- month emergency appropriation to universities and one semester of MAP grants.  The money is available, and Comptroller Munger said she will begin processing payments immediately.

After ten months without funding, our universities were drowning, but last week we worked together to throw them a $600 million lifeline. It’s not a permanent solution, but it is a solid emergency funding plan to get needed dollars to universities and ensure students get their MAP grants while we continue to negotiate a full budget.  I sincerely hope this spirit of bi-partisan cooperation will carry over to those negotiations.

Comptroller Munger issues order delaying lawmakers’ pay 

Based on the continued lack of a balanced budget for FY16, Comptroller Munger has directed her staff to move the issuance of paychecks for elected State officials from a group of bills that are paid immediately and on schedule, to a separate group of bills that are paid after a delay.  The move affects pay for all constitutional officers in statewide elective positions, including herself, and affects pay for the 177 members of the Illinois General Assembly – 118 House members and 59 senators.
Statement of State Representative Dan Brady on Passage of Senate Bill 2059 as amended:

“Despite a shaky start I’m very glad that a bi-partisan emergency funding agreement for universities, community colleges and students’ MAP grants has finally passed the General Assembly and Comptroller Munger has announced that she is standing ready to begin processing payments. After ten months without funding, our universities were drowning. Today we worked together to throw them a $600 million lifeline. I truly hope that we can build on this cooperative success at the budget negotiating table,” said State Representative Dan Brady (R-Normal) who serves as Minority Spokesman on the House Higher Education-Appropriations Committee.

 Representative Dan  Brady visited with WJBC's Scott Laughlin Thursday morning about several budget and session related issues. Listen-in here.
“I’m very pleased that we are discussing a new proposal  in the General Assembly to provide needed stop-gap funding for Universities. The new plan, authored by my colleague Rep. Mike Fortner, would provide $558 million from the Educational Assistance Fund to fund a four- month appropriation to universities and one semester of MAP grants while we continue to negotiate a full budget. Let’s get this done.” Rep. Dan Brady
Local Lawmakers Renew Call for Compromise on Higher Ed, Immediate Return to Springfield

Normal, IL – At a press conference in Normal today, area Republican lawmakers emphatically reinforced their willingness to compromise on the issue of Higher Education funding.  Local Representatives and Senators stressed that there are numerous viable proposals still on the table that Democrats have so far refused to consider. 

“Our higher education funding crisis has reached critical mass. Students, universities, and community colleges need emergency funding now to get through the rest of this fiscal year, but the vetoed MAP bill and the new, largely unfunded appropriations bill pushed by Democrats are shams, not solutions,” said State Representative Dan Brady (R-Normal), who serves as Minority Spokesman on the House Higher Education-Appropriations Committee. “There are real, viable alternatives on the table, including House Bill 4539 that I am sponsoring, which the Speaker has so far denied due process in the House.”

House Bill 4539 would reasonably fund MAP grants, community colleges and four-year universities.  However, unlike the Democrat proposal on MAP funding (SB2043) or the newly proposed $3.7 billion spending plan (HB648) Republicans are calling for a funding stream tied to any proposal that advances.   

“There are a multitude of reasonable proposals on the table to fund higher education and offer our universities hundreds of millions in savings,” said State Senator Jason Barickman (RBloomington). “Speaker Madigan and his lawmakers have not only rejected these plans out of hand, they’ve now shut down their chamber for the rest of the month.”

Senate Democrats have refused to allow Republican higher education funding proposals from even being heard in committee. Senator Barickman, Senator Bill Brady and their colleagues have offered legislation to both fund MAP grants, community colleges and four-year universities, as well as provide $500 million per year through much-needed procurement reforms.

“Illinois students and universities are at a breaking point.” said Senator Bill Brady (RBloomington). “Last week I introduced SB 3380, which is one of the many viable, responsible higher education funding proposals put forward by Republican lawmakers in the General Assembly. I urge Democratic legislators to work with us on one of these real, reasonable proposals instead of pushing forward with false promises.”

In the House, Democrats refused to debate any workable higher education funding alternatives prior to breaking for the entire month of March.  At the conclusion of House session last Thursday, Republicans made a motion to bring the legislature back the following day.  The motion, despite being completely in line with the rules, was ruled out of order with Democrat leadership.

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, who determines the session schedule, put in place a four-week gap in the month of March. The House is not scheduled to be back in session until April 4th.

“We’re in the middle of a very real crisis and Speaker Madigan broke his own House rules to avoid considering our motion to stay in Springfield and work. Democrats then hastily voted to adjourn and skipped town for an entire month,” said State Representative Tom Bennett (RGibson City).  “We want to work together on funding for higher education, for service providers, and for the new budget as a whole, but we can’t do that with the entire House Democrat Caucus on a four-week vacation.”


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