Rep. Miller Hosts EIU President Glassman at Capitol: Education Leaders Roundtable

Photo (l-r) Rep. Brad Halbrook (102nd Dist.), Rep. Michael Marron (104th Dist.) Rep. Jeff Keicher (70th Dist.), Rep. Norine Hammond (93rd Dist.), Dr, Jack Thomas (President-Western Illinois University), Dr. David Glassman (President-Eastern Illinois University), Rep. Dan Brady (105th Dist.), Rep. Chris Miller (110th Dist.), Dr. Lisa Freeman (Northern Illinois University), and Dr. Larry Dietz (President-Illinois State University)

Rep. Chris Miller hosted Eastern Illinois University President David Glassman this week at the Illinois State Capitol as part of a leadership roundtable discussion with public university presidents from around the state. Other universities represented were Illinois State University, Northern Illinois University, University of Illinois and Western Illinois University.

“It was great to host Dr. Glassman and I appreciate him participating in this presidential roundtable with other university leaders and our House Republican leadership,” commented Rep. Chris Miller. “According to the presidents, keeping level operating costs at our universities is very important and the number one issue facing our universities. We believe we can hold level funding from FY19 with the recent increase in over one billion in taxes collected in April.”

Issues covered in the discussions included fiscal responsibility, doing more with less, financial literacy for students, capital projects such as a new life science building, and campus beautification projects at Eastern Illinois University. Dr. Glassman also talked about the excitement on campus with activities such as the thousands of visitors on campus for the state track meet, the upcoming summer camp, and the growing excitement for fall football.

With recent revenue projects from the Commission on Governmental Forecasting and Accountability (COGFA) and the Illinois Department of Revenue, we believe there’s no need to change the Illinois constitution for a tax increase or progressive tax system. Illinois brought in over $1 billion more in taxes than expected in April, but the Democrats are downplaying the significance of these increased revenues, and want to plow ahead with increasing taxes.

We understand the value in having top quality institutions in Illinois and the need to invest in our colleges to attract and keep high school students and their families.  But, we live in the reality where pensions are growing, $6 billion in the backlog of unpaid bills, and the State needs to get its finances in order, without simply raising taxes without taking measures to ensure the money is spent in a responsible way.

“There is still a lack of a clear plan forward from the Democrat majority for our institutions of higher education and we need to continue to fight for fiscal responsibility,” added Rep. Miller. “I feel that education leaders like Dr. Glassman who understand the public-private partnership opportunities we have will help take us to the next level of retaining the best and brightest students here in Illinois.”