Senator Jim Oberweis says after months of negotiations, the Senate voted May 30 to pass a balanced budget that does not require a tax increase to implement.
“If you would look back at all the partisan bickering of the last three years, it would seem that passing a balanced budget for Illinois is impossible. Well, guess what … we just passed a balanced budget that does not require a tax increase to implement,” Senator Oberweis said. “Many times this year, I have asked my colleagues to look at bills based on their merit, not just partisan politics. If it is a bad bill, vote against it. If a bill makes sense, vote for it. This budget makes sense, so we voted for it.”
The budget passed by the Senate cuts more than $1 billion in spending; delivers $350 million more in K-12 school funding through the evidence-based model; boosts early childhood education by $50 million, and cuts $445 million in pension liability.
This budget also includes needed capital:
o Fully-funds the Governor’s Fiscal Year 2019 capital program.
o Includes $2.5 billion for IDOT’s road program, which will create jobs and improve roads.
o Provides $500 million for the University of Illinois Discovery Partners’ Institute.
o Includes $53 million for first-year costs to construct a new Quincy Veterans Home.
o Allocates $600 million for statewide deferred maintenance, with $100 million of this amount going toward needs at institutions of Higher Education.
A much-needed supplemental spending bill for Fiscal Year 2018 is also included in this budget, which will fund agency operations, including $405 million for the Department of Corrections. It also includes $63 million for AFSCME back pay.
While the passage of a balanced budget represents major progress for Illinois, several other issues still need to be resolved. Senator Oberweis says he stands ready to work with his fellow lawmakers to make the tough decisions necessary to pass structural reforms that will boost the state’s economy and jobs.
“Our state’s greatest accomplishments come from working as a team. The changes will not all be easy, but they are necessary,” Senator Oberweis said. “I remain committed to working with my fellow lawmakers to face the many challenges, as well as embrace the many possibilities facing Illinois.”
Fiscal Year 2019 runs from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019.