Members of the SIUC Campus community got a chance to hear from their two state senators Thursday.
Republican Senators Paul Schimpf and Dale Fowler took questions - many focusing on the fate of Southern Illinois University and the region's economy. Both assumed office in January, and Schimpf represents 58th District, which includes most of the SIU Carbondale campus.
"If the university pares back its operation, the city of Carbondale withers away. The city needs a strong university, and the entire region needs a strong university here."
But community members were concerned about other funding, too, leading many to ask: Will the state see more stopgap funding before a full budget is passed?
While Schimpf said he would try to convince Governor Bruce Rauner to support stopgap measures if he believes they become necessary, Fowler said he it would take a lot for him to sign another temporary measure.
"As far as a stopgap, I'm going to have to take a good strong look at it. I'm not for a Band-Aid. I want a good strong balanced budget, so our universities and our schools and our social services can have the money they deserve ."
Reaction from the crowd was mixed, with some thanking the senators for having a town hall style meeting and others saying they didn't really answer their questions.