One of the many people pleased with Thursday's passage of a new state budget is Jack Thomas. The president of Western Illinois University has spent the last three years lobbying in Springfield for higher education funding, and figuring out ways to cut spending on the campuses in Macomb and the Quad Cities.
In a letter to university employees, students, and friends, Doctor Thomas says the new state budget includes 20 million dollars in additional funding for WIU for the fiscal year that just ended, and 46 million for the year that just started.
It also provides 21 million dollars to reimburse the university for MAP grants to students for last year and the coming year.
But don't expect all the economizing of the last couple of years to end soon - Thomas says because of future uncertainties and the long-term impact of the state budget impasse, Western Illinois University must continue to spend very carefully.