U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Illinois higher education advocates called for action Monday on the state funding crisis impacting colleges, universities and students.
Higher education funding is caught up in the state's long-running budget impasse, currently in its eighth month.
Durbin and representatives from the Illinois Coalition to Invest in Higher Education spoke this morning at the University of Illinois at Springfield.
"There is much more we need to do to keep the dream of college alive for Illinois students, and doing so requires the state of Illinois at the table making strong investments in our kids, along with the federal government," Durbin said in a statement. "From increasing Pell Grants to allowing student loans to be refinanced, I'm working to ensure the federal government is making smart investments in higher education that will help students succeed."
The Illinois Coalition to Invest in Higher Education, made up of "business, labor and organizations representing public and private colleges and universities," launched its campaign last month aimed at getting state funding freed up for higher education.
"Illinois universities and colleges have gone without hundreds of millions of dollars in MAP grants and operational funding since July, and aid has not been included in relief packages approved by legislators and the governor since the summer while they have not reached agreement on a full-year budget," reads a statement from the coalition.