Bill now heads to the governor for his approval

Senate votes to approve MAP grant fundingSPRINGFIELD – The Senate passed a key educational proposal today that funds the Monetary Assistance Program (MAP), an educational grant that last year provided funding to more than 100,000 students. The Senate previously voted on similar legislation in August. The bill stayed in the Illinois House until this morning, when it was passed back to the Senate for final approval.

Co-sponsor Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) released the following statement after voting in favor of the measure:

“MAP enables more than 100,000 students across our state to attend college. This includes many first-generation college students, older adults returning to gain skills after raising children and thousands of working class families who otherwise wouldn't have a chance at a college education.

“These students, through no fault of their own, were stuck in the middle of Illinois' budget impasse and faced having to drop out of school entirely because of it.

“I proudly voted to support these students today, and I hope the governor agrees.”

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HutchinsonCommitteeSMState Senator Toi Hutchinson (D - Chicago Heights) released the following statement following the governor's State of the State address:

We are quickly approaching our eighth month without a budget in Illinois. Without a working budget in place, there is no opportunity to invest in our schools to ensure a world-class education for our children. There is no opportunity to invest in our workforce for the companies who want to establish and grow in Illinois. We won’t be able to reduce the prison population by providing services that cut down on recidivism and keep folks off the street. We cannot do a single thing Governor Rauner laid out in his State of the State address without paying for it. 

There is no magic arithmetic we can employ or wishful thinking about a world where we don’t have to pay taxes to create that reality. It is an undeniable fact that the people who pay the highest proportion of their income to taxes, those at the bottom 20 percent of our economy, have been and are continuing to be hurt the worst as they pay for the largest tax cut in Illinois history. And how do they pay? They pay dearly in lost jobs and services, broken promises to college students, more than 30,000 children who still cannot access safe child care and preschool, seniors losing meals, the systematic dismantling of our entire safety net, and on and on and on. This is what it looks like when you lose $5 billion on the first day of the year and lack the political will to do anything about it.

The most hopeful thing I heard today from the governor is that it is time to cast aside partisan agendas and ideology so that we can solve problems. I’m waiting to the see the first demonstration of exactly that so we can end this budget impasse once and for all.

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State of the State offers opportunity for honest assessment from the governorTomorrow, Governor Rauner will deliver his second State of the State address, an annual speech to the General Assembly highlighting the previous year’s accomplishments. 

With Illinois still mired in a financial crisis, leaving college students without the ability to utilize state grants and seniors losing vital services, Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) is looking to the governor to provide an honest assessment of the state of Illinois absent a budget.

Click below to hear Senator Hutchinson’s full remarks:

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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights) released the following statement after news the governor declared an impasse in negotiations with the state’s largest employee union:

Hutchinson: “How much collateral damage is all of this chaos worth?”“Today’s decision by the governor affects tens of thousands of Illinois workers who protect our children and our seniors and keep our streets safe at night. They are our home health care workers, child care providers, state troopers and corrections officers. They are real people doing the work we need them to do to function as a state. A labor stoppage is truly frightening especially in light of the fact that our social safety net has been pushed to the brink of collapse.

“I don’t understand why the governor insists on pushing our state closer to complete chaos. What’s the point? This is not new. We have spent the last seven months at impasse without a budget. The irony is that there is no impasse if you decide not to be at impasse.  These are the moments when you must keep trying.

“How much collateral damage is all of this chaos worth?”

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