Charleston leaders detail impact of lack of EIU funding

CHARLESTON, Ill. (AP) — Charleston officials are expressing concern about the growing impact the lack of state funding is having on Eastern Illinois University and the surrounding area. During a news conference Tuesday, Chamber of Commerce president Cindy White noted the university’s positive impact includes providing the area with a well-educated population and feeding money into local businesses. Earlier this month, EIU President David Glassman announced 177 people will be laid off because of a lack of state funding due to the budget impasse between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democrat-controlled General Assembly. Glassman said if the university, which employs 1,500, begins receiving state funds by the layoff date of March 12, they will be rescinded. Republican State Rep. Reggie Phillips says he is co-sponsoring legislation that would provide emergency funding to select colleges and universities.