News that the Illinois Senate may take up a package of budget bills this week in Springfield has many wondering whether this could be the end of the state's budget stalemate.
SIU President Randy Dunn says he's cautiously optimistic that progress is being made, but not ready to celebrate just yet.
"Given the fact that the Senate has taken this on, it has a little something for everyone, and again may be an indication that we can break loose this impasse, we're glad to see it."
Dunn says the Senate's plan would mean $93 million for the SIU system. That's about half of what the university would receive in a full-year's budget - and the last time they saw that amount was 2015.
"Maybe it's a harbinger that this thing is going to get unfrozen; that we're going to see the state get back to a regular budget cycle, and things start moving forward in a more typical fashion."
Agencies and organizations that rely on state funding have dealt with dramatic cuts and stop-gap funding measures for more than a year and a half, as Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and Legislative Democrats remain at odds over how to craft a balanced budget.