02162017CM0271SPRINGFIELD — State Sen. Pat McGuire vowed to continue efforts to resolve the state budget impasse Thursday, issuing the following statement.

“Gov. Bruce Rauner yesterday stuck out his leg and tripped the grand bargain as it moved toward Senate passage,” said McGuire, D-Joliet.

“Senate Democratic leader John Cullerton, Senate Republican leader Christine Radogno, their caucuses and their staffs have worked tirelessly for over three months to build a bipartisan compromise to end Illinois' budget impasse. Even yesterday, changes were being made by the Senate President to property tax, revenue and worker's comp measures at the Minority Leader's request.

“Then the result of Republican senators being called into the governor's office emerged: Only Minority Leader Radogno remained true to the compromise. The unprecedented, widely hailed effort for both Democratic and Republican senators to take the tough votes necessary to stabilize Illinois lay face down in the governor's office.

“Members of both parties want to help college students who need financial aid, disabled individuals who need care and domestic violence victims who need shelter and support. We will continue to search for a solution.”

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01242017CM0675SPRINGFIELD – Following the governor’s State of the State address Wednesday, State Senator Pat McGuire released the following statement:

“Halfway through his term, the governor is only half-right when it comes to education and jobs. Illinois does need more good, middle-class jobs. But when it comes to post-secondary education, all the governor talked about were research universities and ‘wealth creation.’

“The community college student studying nursing who needs financial aid to finish? Silence. The small-college student hoping to earn a teaching degree without crushing student loan debt? Crickets. The public university student majoring in criminal justice who hopes her school will stay open? Not a word.”

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roundhouseCREST HILL – On Friday, the Rauner administration announced plans to close the F House at Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill. State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) released the following statement:

“We learned this morning in a Chicago Sun-Times op-ed that Governor Rauner plans to close F House, the roundhouse at Stateville. Stateville is a maximum-security prison, and F House is where maximum-security offenders who pose threats to staff and other offenders are housed.

“I later learned that the governor plans to move all the offenders in F House — of whom there are 347 today — to other buildings at Stateville and to other maximum-security state prisons, of which there are only two, Pontiac and Menard. The governor wishes to do this in six weeks' time.

Public safety and the safety of prison employees must be our highest priorities. Yet the governor made the decision to close F House and set this aggressive timeline without talking to Stateville's front-line workers, the members of AFSCME Local 1866. These are the men and women who walk the cell blocks, encounter offenders face to face, know best the conditions of the facility, and risk their lives to keep us safe.

“I urge Gov. Rauner to immediately seek Local 1866's input before proceeding. We need safe communities and safe prisons. To move abruptly and unilaterally could risk both.”

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McGuire2014squareSPRINGFIELD — Two measures sponsored by State Senator Pat McGuire (D-Joliet) as part of his push to modernize higher education and make college more affordable have been signed into law.

The first piece of legislation, House Bill 4675, reclassifies the sources of two funds for adult and career education. This is in response to confusion about the funds’ sources in an earlier budget bill that led to the two funds — which totaled $43 million — being left out of the earlier bill.

The second new law, House Bill 6009, streamlines the data collection process that community colleges must undertake and updates other state laws regarding higher education.

“These two bills provide clear financial relief for our state’s community colleges by trimming bureaucracy and increasing efficiency by eliminating duplicative services,” said McGuire, chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee. “Modernizing the nuts and bolts of community college administration is an integral part of making higher education more affordable.”

Having been signed by the governor, both bills are now law.

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