To Counter Gov's Agenda, Pushing Free College

Jan 26, 2017

A state representative from Chicago is trying to bring the spirit of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign to Illinois. His idea? Free tuition at Illinois’ public universities.

Let’s get this out of the way up front: Democrat Will Guzzardi knows Illinois will not be providing free college tuition anytime soon.

“But I want that to be the guide star, I want that to be the objective that we work toward," Guzzardi says.

Rep. Will Guzzardi addresses reporters in this file photo.
Credit Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois

He says his party is losing the battle of ideas to Gov. Bruce Rauner.

“Until we start putting out our own ideas there’s not going to be real compromise or negotiation," he says. "The only question is: How much will Democrats capitulate to Rauner’s agenda?”

Guzzardi wants the General Assembly to at least pass something that would help people with student loans. What form would that take? He says it’s still a work in progress.