April 19, 2023

Duckworth Discusses Job Creation, Financial Aid and Innovation During U of I System Fireside Chat


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) today joined University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign Chancellor Robert Jones for a fireside chat to discuss several of the Senator’s current actions in Congress, including her advocacy for more affordable higher education, her work as founding co-chair of the Senate Environmental Justice Caucus, her priorities for the upcoming Federal Aviation Administration Reauthorization and more. Photos from the fireside chat are available here.

“It is an honor to serve the great state of Illinois and the bright minds attending each of the University of Illinois System campuses,” Duckworth said. “Whether I’m working to help create more high-paying, high-skilled jobs, lower the cost of higher education or prevent environmental injustices, I’m striving to make a better country for students like the ones at today’s discussion. Young people in this country deserve nothing less.”

The FY 2023 Omnibus Appropriations bill, which Senator Duckworth voted in favor of and secured several provisions in, includes several wins for more accessible higher education, including $1.2 billion for the TRIO program, which helps over 800,000 low-income first generation students get into college and succeed while they’re there.?For the 2023-24 school year, the maximum Pell Grant award will increase by $500 or 7.2 percent to $7,395, thanks to the omnibus. This is the largest increase in the maximum Pell grant award since the 2009-10 school year. The omnibus also includes $75 million, an increase of $10 million, for the Child Care Access Means Parents in Schools (CCAMPIS) program, which aligns with Duckworth’s CCAMPIS Reauthorization Act, legislation to further increase access to affordable and convenient childcare options for student parents.?

Today’s fireside chat was also attended by U of I School Systems President Tomothy Killeen, University of Illinois-Chicago Chancellor Javier Reyes, University of Illinois-Springfield Chancellor Janet Gooch, as well as by several other U of I System officials and student representatives.