SPRINGFIELD — Next week the Illinois State Senate plans to take up funding for financial aid for qualified college students.
The Monetary Assistance Program (MAP) provides needy Illinois students with funding to pay for college tuition. This funding is being held up as a result of the budget impasse.
“In the coming weeks students will be returning to college campuses,” state Sen. Bill Haine (D-Alton) said. “Many of these students rely on MAP grants for their college tuition. It is important we invest in the future of our state and make sure students have the opportunity to better themselves. That is why I am urging lawmakers to vote in favor of this measure.”
In May, the Illinois General Assembly passed legislation specifically aimed to help college students. Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed the plan, taking away college funding for students who rely on state assistance.
Illinois Senate Democrats have issued an online petition urging students and stakeholders to support MAP grant funding on their website: www.IllinoisSenateDemocrats.com.
The Senate expects to take up the legislation Wednesday, August 19.
Medical cannabis legislation returns to House
Legislation extending the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program (MCPP) to four years was rejected by Governor Bruce Rauner today. His veto, however, offered specific changes. His action would only extend the program another two years from the date the first medical cannabis dispensary gets registered by the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.
“This action is reasonable and I support the amendatory veto,” said Haine (D-Alton), chief sponsor of the measure. “The impetus behind this measure was to set a new deadline for the program to get up and running. The program was signed into law two years ago and has yet to be effectively implemented. The governor compromised; now let’s get this done and give patients access to the care they need.”
With the support of Haine, the original Medical Cannabis Pilot Program was signed into law in 2013.
In January, new updates to the medical marijuana laws were signed into law. These updates included increased authority to regulators, revised criminal background checks for patients and updated laws on DUI regulations for medical cannabis patients.
The legislation is House Bill 3299, and will be sent back to the House for review.