Governor Pat Quinn visited Northern Illinois University Thursday. He was there to promote his plan to boost funding for the state's Monetary Award Program, which provides scholarships to low-income college students.
Under the governor's budget proposal, MAP funding would increase by 50-million dollars. Quinn says the state has made financial reforms in recent years. He says those reforms should allow the state to invest more money into the program.
However, the Chicago Democrat says it won't happen if lawmakers don't make permanent the income tax hike due to expire in January. Republicans have criticized that approach, saying the increase should expire, and that cuts need to be made elsewhere.
Quinn's opponent in the general election, Republican Bruce Rauner, noted that cuts to the MAP program have happened under Quinn's watch. But the governor says they were able to maintain the program during tough economic times.