months of bipartisan negotiations, Illinois lawmakers approved a compromise
stop-gap budget June 30 that will fund K-12 schools, road projects and federal
programs for the next year and keep essential state services running until
January, according to Senator Jim Oberweis.
worked for nearly a year to pass a balanced budget and meaningful economic
reforms to expand job opportunities, fix a corrupt political system and mend a
failing state economy. The stop-gap budget passed June 30 is not what our state
needs long-term, but it does provide what we need right now. It provides a
temporary resolution to the impasse,” Senator Oberweis said.
The $50.6 billion stop-gap
budget makes an historic investment in K-12 education, provides money for early
childhood education, funds MAP grants, ensures critical government services are
funded, and does not provide a bailout of the Chicago Public Schools system.
Senate Bill 2047 will provide a full year of funding for elementary and
secondary education, road construction projects and federal programs, and
six months of funding for critical operations for higher education,
state-operated facilities (such as prisons and veterans’ homes), public safety,
health and welfare.
The budget will fully fund
the current state-aid formula for schools for the first time in seven years,
with a minimum guarantee provision that assures that no school district will
receive less money than it did in the previous year, even if it has fewer
students this year. In addition, a new $250 million equity grant will
help the poorest schools in the state, and early childhood education (pre-K)
will receive a boost of $75 million.
Higher education will
receive an additional $1 billion, in addition to the $600 million that had
already been appropriated earlier this year. The funding includes $151 million
for MAP grants for low-income students and $114 million for community colleges.
The plan also includes more
than $13 billion for new and ongoing transportation infrastructure improvement
and maintenance projects, which will keep an estimated 25,000 workers employed.
More than $700 million will
go to human services programs that help many of the state’s most vulnerable
residents. Other programs, including prisons, mental health facilities,
veterans’ homes, and state parks, will receive funding to keep them open and
operating until January.
“I believe it is important for
lawmakers to build on the momentum of this bipartisan legislation so progress
continues on essential government and business reforms.
Illinois faces many challenges, yet there are equally as many
opportunities out there as well, if we set aside the gamesmanship and continue
to work together. My colleagues and I will continue to push for a complete and
constitutional state budget, in which spending matches revenues,” Senator Oberweis said.
“We will also strive for essential reforms to rebuild and revitalize Illinois’
economy before any consideration of new taxes. Growing the economy and
providing opportunities and prosperity and jobs are the best ways back to
fiscal good health.”
Fiscal Year 2017 begins
July 1, 2016.