As Special Session Opens, SIU Leaders Keep Watchful Eyes on Springfield

Jun 21, 2017

The CEO at Southern Illinois University Carbondale says he remains cautiously hopeful that state lawmakers will reach a deal on a budget for next fiscal year.

Interim Chancellor Brad Colwell says there are more glimmers of hope from Springfield now than there have been in previous years.
"I think we've all been through the ups and downs enough to know until we see the ink dried on the legislation, we're just going to sit back and wait - continue to do our lobbying and whatnot. But this is the closest, I'll say, that we've been towards the sense of compromise."
Lawmakers are headed back to Springfield for a special session. Without a compromise, the state will enter its third year without a budget.

Meanwhile, Colwell says the staff cuts made earlier this month should be enough to finish this budget year, and carry the school into the next. He says rumors of a second save of layoffs and cutbacks are not true.
"I'm not going to say, 'never,' because I don't know exactly what the budget will be. But this time, there is not a planned round two of cuts to staff at this point."
Colwell says things could change if state lawmakers and Governor Bruce Rauner can't come to an agreement - but he says that's true all over the state.