UI receives last planned state payment, future uncertain


Brian Bauer

Chairman of the Board Edward L. Macmillan runs the meeting held by the Board of Trustees at the Illini Union on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2016.

By Megan Jones , Staff Writer

 Newly elected chairman Tim Koritz ended Thursday’s Board of Trustee meeting by saying things are looking up for the University — except for the state budget impasse, which enters its second year without receiving any funds.

Chief Financial Officer and Vice President Walter Knorr said Gov. Bruce Rauner is hosting a State of the State speech and budget speech in late January and mid-February, respectively. Knorr said  “hopefully, we’ll find out more then,” but there has been no other big movement in Springfield.

The University received its last payment for the half-year $351 million appropriation for fiscal year 2017. At Wednesday’s subcommittee meeting, UI lobbyist Lindsay Anderson said there has been discussion about leaving a hole in fiscal year 2016, which is the the worst case scenario.

“That is definitely something we are concerned about,” Anderson said.

He said the University did not receive any money for Monetary Award Program, MAP, grants for the current academic year; however, the school agreed to cover students until a budget resolution is reached. Students were warned on their financial aid grants that if the state failed to fund the program, the university might ask students to pay the difference in cost. The University covered students’ MAP grants last year and received some money from the state to cover grants for the spring semester.

The state has $11.1 billion in unpaid vouchers and $3.9 billion in health care billings for state employees on Jan. 5.


The Institute of Government and Public Affairs put out a report in November that said economic growth slowed considerably during 2016 with a slick uptick at the end of the year. Knorr added that the University is currently under credit review by Moody’s Investor Service due to the state budget impasse, however ratings have remained the same thus far.

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