Illinois Senate OKs college grant funding

Senate Democrats have given final approval to a plan to release $373 million in state funds to help students pay for college.
    
Lawmakers voted 37-0 to authorize spending for the Monetary Award Program. Democrats casting all the "yes" votes, sending the bill to the House. Republicans voted "present."
    
Democratic Sen. Dan Kotowski says the grants will help about 130,000 students afford college.
    
Students who qualify for the grants haven’t received money because of the budget impasse.
    
Republicans say they support the grant program. But Republican Sen. Matt Murphy says Democrats are "making promises they can’t keep" by approving spending at levels Illinois can’t afford.
    
Public four-year universities have said they’ll front the money to students but that they can’t continue to do so beyond fall semester.

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