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UIS Students And Faculty Hold Day Of Action

WRSP - UIS Day of Action

March 31st, 2016 As the budget impasse drags on, some universities are struggling to continue helping students.

Some even wondering how they will keep the doors open.

Students at the University of Illinois Springfield (UIS) say they're sick and tired of the politics coming from Springfield.

They say the state made them a promise and lawmakers and the Governor need to make good on that promise, or they're risking the future of this state.

275 days without a budget and the inaction leaving state universities and low income students without a way to make ends meet.

Educators call it a failure of government.

"The loss of MAP Grant funds represents a loss in students and a really critical failure for public higher education particularly because it's about access. It's about making higher education and a college degree accessible to as many Illinoisans as possible. We don't want to lose those opportunities for our students," said Lynn Fisher, professor, University of Illinois Springfield.

Nine months into the impasse the rhetoric hasn't changed much leaving more and more students without hope.

"There's really no excuse for it. I believe that the super-majority in the legislature is using Chicago State and many other service providers in Illinois as leverage to try and force a massive tax hike. I believe that's what's going on and that's wrong," said Gov. Bruce Rauner.

But they're not giving up.

Students coming together across the state for a day of action recording messages for lawmakers and writing letters.

"I am a first gen low income student, so MAP Grant is really valued by a student like me and many other students that are out here," said Shamira Quiñones.

Many students hoping to teach lawmakers a lesson.

"Think about us and think about the future of this generation. What do you want it to look like for the state of Illinois?" said Quiñones.

That student you just heard from is organizing a march in a couple of weeks to call on lawmakers to pass MAP Grant funding.

Lawmakers are back in session next week when the House could take up a higher education funding bill, but Republicans say that plan is an empty promise because Democrats didn't include a way to pay for the spending.

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