Illinois has tapped nearly $700 million in existing funds to make the first payment to colleges and universities they've received in seven months.
Comptroller Susana Mendoza announced the payment Thursday.

Mendoza made a stop in Quincy Friday, announcing that financial relief for area schools includes nearly a million dollars for Quincy University, almost $400,000 for John Wood Community College and nearly $18-million dollars for Western Illinois University.

The funds made available statewide include $327 million owed for the needs-based Monetary Award Program for 110,000 college students for the past school year.

Senate Education Committee Chairman Pat McGuire of Joliet applauded the move. McGuire has been particularly concerned with MAP funding during the standoff.