Modified bill to be submitted

By Galvin Kennedy

A Republican bill, which would provide money for higher education, is expected to surface some time this week as a result of the Illinois State Senate’s rejection of the Madigan plan last Friday.

NIU would have received more than $119 million as a result of Madigan’s bill.

The Chicago Tribune reported that Senate President Philip Rock, D-Oak Park, who has supported an income tax increase for the last three years, was disappointed last Friday when four Democrats who were expected to vote for the Madigan plan did not.

Kenneth Beasley, NIU assistant to the president for government relations said, “I was led to believe from people I’ve talked to in Springfield that the bill was going to pass so, I was somewhat surprised when it did not pass.”

Madigan’s bill would have provided NIU with $119,106,900 for fiscal year 1990. This is an increase of $13 million from last year’s appropriations from the state.

“We can look for a Republican bill to surface sometime this week by the governor and leading Republican senators along with a resubmission of a modified Madigan plan,” Beasley said.

According to a June 2 summary of FY90 appropriations for higher education operations and grants, the allocations of Gov. James Thompson’s budget included a $6 million increase from last year’s appropriations.

“There seems to be an agreement from both Republicans and Democrats that education should have more money. The question lies in the degree of the increase,” Beasley said.

“At this time,” he added, “the people down in Springfield seem to be more concerned with the source of the money as well as the period of the extractions, than the actual division of it.”

Some of the additional money-raising sources discussed by the senate included a property tax, a gasoline tax, and the so called “sin-tax” on the purchase of alcohol and tobacco.

“The specific amounts which will be allocated to different areas of the university can not be determined until we know how much we will receive from the state, Beasley said.

As the General Assembly’s spring session draws to a close this week, Beasley said there is one thing we can be sure about, “Nothing is ever certain down in Springfield.”