First funded in 1968 under former Gov. Richard Hughes, New Jersey's Educational Opportunity Fund provides personal support and financial aid to more than 17,000 low-income college students throughout the state.
But the budget that Gov. Chris Christie proposed earlier in 2017 for the fiscal year that begins on July 1 called for a reduction in funding for the Educational Opportunity Fund by $3.6 million.
Democrats who control the Legislature have drafted their own version of the 2018 fiscal year spending plan, and according to preliminary figures provided to NJ Spotlight, they intend to restore the cut proposed by Christie, and then provide another $1.4 million to the program. That would push the total EOF allocation up to $43.8 million.
Still, it's not certain the Democrats’ effort to boost EOF funding will make it into the final version of the fiscal 2018 budget, because the state constitution gives Christie the final say.