Illinois schools are receiving a major boost
in funding thanks to the bipartisan education budget passed at the end of June,
according to data recently released by the Illinois State Board of Education
Also during the week, we continued our push to make sure the recent
budget actions are just the first step toward a full-year, balanced and
responsible budget, along with structural reforms that help grow jobs and
improve the state’s economy.
In other action, nominations are being sought for those who have made
great strides toward helping veterans; and the Governor has recently taken
action on a backlog of petitions for clemency.
Funding info for schools
The ISBE has recently revised its school funding forecast with data from
the recent education budget passed by the General Assembly, showing school
districts receiving a boost for the upcoming school year.
The budget itself represents an historic level of cash for K-12 schools
as well as pre-K programs, including ending proration of school funding for the
first time in seven years. All schools will receive at least their 2015-2016
school year funding level plus a share of a statewide $250 million equity
grant. If the existing formula would have given them more money than that for
2016-2017 school year, then the district will receive that higher level.
According to State Superintendent Tony Smith, every school district in Illinois
will receive more money than it did during the previous year. I am concerned about the increased level of
state spending for schools without an offsetting decrease in property taxes but
this was the best we were able to do so far.
Continue push for fully
Governor Bruce Rauner has been touring the state to let residents know how
the recent stopgap and school budgets will help keep the state operating
through the rest of the year. But it is important to note that the recent
action is just one step toward undoing the damage from years of out-of-balance
budgets and mounting debt.
The Governor notes that negotiations held by rank-and-file legislators
are close to reaching bipartisan agreements on a number of major issues,
including property tax relief for homeowners, workers’ compensation reform,
achieving major savings for the nation’s most underfunded pension system, and
improving the school funding system to help all schools throughout the state.
The Governor has warned though that he doesn’t think majority party
lawmakers will be willing to take action on major issues until after the
Nominations for Veteran and
Business of the Year
The Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs is seeking help from the
public to honor the outstanding work of military veterans and businesses who
have made significant contributions to veterans’ causes.
The Department is asking for nominations for the Illinois Veterans
Patriotic Volunteer and Appreciation Award, which honors the work of an
Illinois veteran for the veteran community and local communities, as well as
nominations for the Illinois Veterans’ Business Appreciation Award, which
highlights and honors the work of any business, organization, or non-profit
that has significantly helped veterans.
For more information on the awards and a nomination form, visit http://go.usa.gov/chEmV.
Governor acts on clemency
Governor Rauner has recently taken action on petitions for clemency, granting
six and denying 150. According to the Governor’s office, approximately 500
clemency petitions remain from previous administrations.
The Governor has taken action on 10 sets of clemency petitions since
taking office. Each person granted clemency has recently undergone a criminal
background check through the Illinois State Police’s Law Enforcement Agencies
Data System. If a petitioner is granted clemency for a pardon, they are allowed
to seek expungement of their conviction through the court system.