Toi Hutchinson

Illinois Senate approves $454 million more for colleges

The Illinois Senate agreed Thursday to spend an additional $454 million on struggling colleges and universities, another stopgap measure as lawmakers continue an epic standoff over a full budget.

Lawmakers approved the bill on a near unanimous vote and sent the measure to the House, which can take it up as soon as Tuesday when state representatives return to Springfield.

Democrats who control the Legislature and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner have been unable to agree on a budget since July 1, and higher education institutions have been forced to lay off staff. Chicago State University let go more than 300 employees this month, about a third of its workforce, because of the...