GOP, Democrats call for $1B for higher education

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois colleges and universities would receive about $1 billion under stopgap budget plans filed by state Senate Democrats and Republican leaders.

The money for higher education appears to be one area of agreement in the rival proposals introduced Tuesday.

Both plans include $151 million for grants to help students pay tuition for spring semester 2016. Many students and colleges had planned on the funds, but never received them because of the ongoing budget impasse.

The proposals also provide money for career and technical education and for the Illinois Math and Science Academy.

Lawmakers are returning to Springfield on Wednesday. They’ll consider competing GOP and Democratic plans to keep schools and other government services operating when Illinois enters a new fiscal year Friday.