Illinois budget cuts to affect students, sickle cell center

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A bipartisan deal to cut $300 million in spending in Illinois is set to affect college students, as well as Chicago residents with sickle cell anemia. The Chicago Tribune reports as many as 3,000 college students will miss out on grants this school year. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission has had $8.4 million cut from its budget, though a program spokeswoman said grants were withheld pre-emptively and students won’t have to pay back anything. A $500,000 cut in funding looms for a Chicago sickle cell center at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System. The emergency pain center treated 820 people with the rare disorder last fiscal year. A spokeswoman for Gov. Bruce Rauner says the reductions are part of the “bipartisan legislative solution” to fill a $1.6 billion hole in the current budget.