University presidents say schools hurting without budget

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois’ nine public university presidents say in a letter to Gov. Bruce Rauner and legislative leaders that a failure to approve a budget soon could leave higher education damaged beyond repair. The letter obtained by the Associated Press says funds that have allowed several universities and community colleges to remain open through seven months of Fiscal year 2016 will soon run out and may result in closings. Officials of Chicago State University have said the school will run out of money in March. Last week, a memo from Gov. Bruce Rauner’s deputy chief of staff Richard Goldberg to legislative leaders asserted there was “waste” and “cronyism” in public universities. Telephone calls to a Rauner spokeswoman and a spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan about Tuesday’s letter weren’t immediately returned.