1446CARBONDALE --- SIUC student Jacob Liebman sees an unfortunate if not unfair set of economic circumstances at play in Illinois.

On one hand, a growing number of industries increasingly value a college education for potential hires.
At the same time, the state of Illinois continues investing less and less in its public universities and colleges.

The inevitable result is soaring tuition, crushing student debt and students potentially giving up on higher education, or at least obtaining degrees at Illinois institutions.

Liebman, a senior agricultural business and international marketing major from Pleasant Plains, had the chance to voice his concerns with Illinois State Senator Gary Forby and other lawmakers during a panel discussion this week at the SIU Student

Health Services Center. Forby, a Benton Democrat, represents the SIUC campus and is a former farmer. Liebman represents the College of Agricultural Sciences in the SIUC Student Senate.

“When you sit in an auditorium full of college students fearful about their futures, the reality and ridiculousness of the state’s budget impasse really hits you,” Forby said.

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Category: News Releases

map training centerBenton –Senator Forby toured several rehabilitation and healthcare facilities to discuss the consequences Southern Illinois faces if Governor Rauner doesn’t work with legislators to pass a budget. Senator Forby listened to suggestions from the community affected by the budget so he can bring their recommendations to Springfield.

“Governor Rauner is holding the budget process hostage in exchange for proposals in his wage-killing turnaround agenda,” Senator Forby said.

Senator Forby toured Golden Circle Senior Center (GCSC) in Harrisburg where he also hosted a senior health and resources fair. The GCSC provides on-site and in-home meals for seniors throughout the week and also hosts daily activities. The budget impasse has forced them to scale back their services and if something isn’t done in the coming months, they could have to limit services offered to the senior community.

“It’s really unfortunate that seniors living on fixed incomes could face losing the Meals on Wheels program and other services they depend on. I hope the legislature and the governor can work together to get something done for our seniors. Our seniors have worked all their lives and paid taxes. Funding senior programs is respecting the contributions our parents and grandparents made,” said Darlene Goolsby Saline County Coordinator at GCSC.

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Category: News Releases

Recently, State Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton) supported legislation to ensure funding for road and infrastructure improvements are available for local governments. Senate Bill 2046 was overridden by Governor Rauner, but Senator Forby and a majority of the Senate decided that halting the distribution of the motor fueled tax would have a crippling effect on smaller municipalities.

“Local governments have paid in, it’s time for the state to pay out,” said Senator Forby. “Holding local government’s hostage isn’t how you solve the state’s budget problems. At every turn of the corner, this governor is trying to take advantage of working families and the neediest in our community – and I won’t have it.”

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Category: News Releases

Harrisburg - State Senator Gary Forby (D-Benton) and Representative Brandon Phelps (D-Harrisburg) hosted a Senior Health and Wellness Fair at the Golden Circle Senior Center in Harrisburg. The fair featured representatives from area healthcare and rehabilitation centers. The event was an opportunity for Sen. Forby and Rep. Phelps to bring services directly to seniors in the community who need assistance.

“Since Governor Rauner is cutting services for our seniors, we want to ensure seniors living on a fixed income have access to resources and know about programs that can help,” said Rep. Phelps.

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Category: News Releases

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