The Mess in Illinois


These are the opening paragraphs of a news story by Mike Riopell in the Chicago Daily Record:

“A suburban Republican lawmaker wants to send Illinois universities four months’ worth of state funding to try to ensure they open their doors for the next school year.

“The ‘stopgap’ proposal from state Rep. Mike Fortner, a West Chicago Republican, follows a handful of other plans that have been debated in Springfield but all failed as Democratic leaders and Gov. Bruce Rauner continue their nearly yearlong war over the state budget.

“But a spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan called the idea a ‘distant third-place’ among proposals to pay for higher education in Illinois, putting its future in question.

“In the meantime, state Rep. Rita Mayfield, a Waukegan Democrat, has won preliminary approval for a competing plan that would send out less money than Fortner’s but would focus on the universities deemed…

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