Durbin Discusses COVID-19 Relief With Illinois Public University Presidents

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke with nine Illinois public university presidents to discuss federal support for higher education during the COVID-19 pandemic. On the call, Durbin heard from university presidents about their concerns with unexpected revenue shortfalls and the pandemic’s effect on enrollment. Durbin discussed provisions in the CARES Act that offered $137 million in assistance to Illinois public universities and their students, his support for the Supporting State and Local Leaders Act, which would allow public universities to claim refundable payroll tax credits for implementing paid sick or family leave for employees, and additional financial assistance for universities included in the Heroes Act.

“Illinois’ public universities educate the next generation of leaders, and in an unprecedented time of uncertainty, the federal government must do all it can to ensure that our universities can continue to educate and support students,” said Durbin. “In hearing from university presidents, I understand the serious budget constraints and enrollment concerns our educational institutions are facing. I’ll continue to work alongside our public universities to ensure they have the resources they need to make it through this crisis.”

Durbin supports several provisions providing additional support for public universities and their students in the Heroes Act, including $10.15 billion in financial assistance for higher education institutions and their students, emergency borrow defense discharges to student borrowers, and guarantees of up to $10,000 in student loan relief to every federal student loan borrower.

Public universities participating in the call with Durbin included:

  • Northern Illinois University
  • Illinois State University
  • Southern Illinois University
  • University of Illinois
  • Northeastern Illinois University
  • Chicago State University
  • Governor’s State University
  • Eastern Illinois University
  • Western Illinois University