Illinois' public universities are warning of serious perils if the state's temporary income tax increase is allowed to expire as scheduled in January. Southern Illinois University President Glenn Poshard says institutions of higher education are anticipating a 30 percent decrease in funding next year because of an expected $1.5 billion reduction in state revenues. Poshard told a Senate appropriations committee today budget cuts would mean larger class sizes, having more classes taught by adjunct professors instead of tenured faculty and an increase in tuition. Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas says the state's backlog of bills has already created budget headaches for his institution. Both presidents say increasing the state's minimum wage as Gov. Pat Quinn wants could heighten budget problems, requiring millions more to pay their student workforces.
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