A proposal in the Illinois House would bar public universities from paying commencement speakers with public funds.

The News-Gazette reports the bill passed a House committee Wednesday. Bill sponsor Rep. Reggie Phillips, a Republican from Charleston, says it's a small way of saving money and that universities could try to find private funding for commencement speakers.

Phillips says some universities pay "$30,000 to $50,000" for commencement speakers.

Democratic state Rep. Chris Welch of Hillside criticized the proposal, saying it's "micromanaging." He says university presidents already have to explain proposed budgets to legislators.

The committee passed the bill on the condition that Phillips would bring revisions back to the committee before it goes to the full House. He says changes would clarify its impact on community colleges and other campus speeches.