Universities Prepare to Counter Gov. Rauner’s Proposed Cuts

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Faced with Gov. Bruce Rauner’s surprise plan to cut their state funding by almost a third, Illinois’ public universities are preparing to argue such drastic reductions would be a mistake while also mulling what to do if they’re enacted.

Universities say they will start making the case that spending on them is an investment in the state’s economy.

Lawmakers with universities in their districts say they’re already talking about how to reduce the proposed cut.

Rauner budget officials say universities draw outside funding that would help them better absorb cuts. But the schools point out that most of that money comes with restrictions on how it can be used.

Small schools such as Western Illinois University say the loss of state funding would hit them harder than larger schools.

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