In response to Illinois’ growing problem of more and more students attending college outside of the state and several public universities seeing steep enrollment declines, State Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) and State Rep. Dan Brady (R-Normal) will file the Higher Education Strategic Centers of Excellence Plan, legislation that overhauls the state’s higher education system.

Their plan would make the state’s higher education system more efficient, having each university focus on its strengths and make applying for and getting into public universities easier for students, with the goals of getting more Illinois students to study at Illinois public universities and saving taxpayer dollars.

For example, from 1991-2014, enrollment at Illinois public universities and community colleges has declined by 50,000 students. Since the 1960’s, Illinois has been a net negative exporter of college students in the country, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.

“The structural problems of higher education far transcend the last couple of years during the budget impasse,” Rose said. “Every student we lose is another student who will most likely take their talents and knowledge elsewhere, hurting Illinois in innovation, jobs, and economic impact. This drain of students is a direct drain on the state. This legislation is a thoughtful and methodical approach to reform, but make no mistake, higher education in America is facing unprecedented challenges and changes are needed for a strong and dynamic vision for our cherished institutions. We must carefully, but swiftly, move to protect our strengths.”

“Students deemed most ready for college - we’re talking high GPA and high ACT test scores - generally have higher outmigration rates. We are losing the best and brightest to other states. The consequences of this are devastating. Local economies are hurt. The state’s budget is hurt. Job creators aren’t attracted to locate here. Communities are not growing,” Rose concluded.

“We have world class colleges and universities in Illinois, yet more and more Illinois students choose to leave our state to continue their education. This ‘brain drain’ can’t continue,” said Brady, Spokesman on the House Appropriations-Higher Education Committee. “With this legislation, we’re offering real solutions that will help us keep our best and brightest here to get their degree and, hopefully, to put their talents to work in our communities.”
Members of the Illinois Coroners and Medical Examiners Association today presented their “Legislator
of the Year” award for 2017 to State Representative Dan Brady, a former McLean County Coroner. The award was presented  by the President of the Association, Amy Winans, Christian County Coroner, at a Coroners’ meeting at Biaggi’s Restaurant in Bloomington. 

Representative Brady has been Chief Sponsor of several pieces of legislation that directly impact the operations of coroners’ and medical examiners offices across the State of Illinois, as well as the operations of Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Donor Network. 

Legislation included creating electronic filing of Death Certificates in Illinois as well as changes to the coroner inquest system, cremation permits processing, and legislation that directs funding for forensic equipment for coroners and medical examiners.  The new Coroners Training and Standards Board, which is the new certification program for coroners throughout Illinois, was also recent legislation sponsored by Representative Brady.  In addition, Representative Brady was Chief Co-Sponsor during this session of House Bill 1805 which allows 16- and-17 year olds to donate organs and tissue with the consent of their parents or guardians.  H. B. 1805 was supported by Gift of Hope, the Illinois Secretary of State, and the Illinois Coroners and Medical Examiners Association.