SPRINGFIELD – Illinois schools will be opening on time and with full funding for the first time in seven years, thanks to bipartisan legislation approved by both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly. According to State Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford), human services and core state services will also be funded through the remainder of the current year.
“Our schools will receive the most money in state history for the coming school year, through a plan that will help all Illinois schools without asking taxpayers to fund a Chicago bailout,” said Sen. Syverson. “Our stopgap budget will ensure than important human service programs, road construction, and state operations can continue through the fall.”
The school funding bill would end the act of proration for schools for the first time in seven years, while an additional hold harmless provision guarantees that all schools receive at least as much as they did in the previous year. The legislation also includes a new $250 million equity grant that will help the poorest schools plus a $75 million increase for early childhood education programs.
The stopgap budget proposal would spend $701 million on human service programs, with the aim of making sure those operations can be sustained until the end of the year.
“The human service funding is not ideal, but it will hopefully keep these current programs afloat while work on a full-year budget and matching revenues,” said Sen. Syverson.
The stopgap budget also contains $1 billion for higher education on top of the $600 million previously appropriated. That amount includes an additional $151 million for MAP grant scholarships and $141 million for community colleges.
The stopgap budget proposal will help pay for core General Revenue Fund based state services through the end of the current calendar year. It also contains full-year appropriations for all federal funds as well as full-year appropriations for all other state funds including capital projects, the state’s road program, LIHEAP, lottery prizes and local government distributions such as the motor fuel tax.
The total for transportation programs and construction is over $13 billion and is expected to support more than 800 projects and 25,000 jobs.
“This isn’t a final solution and it isn’t ideal, but it will keep our state functioning keep dollars flowing where most needed” said Sen. Syverson. “Hopefully this will buy us the time we need to pass a truly balanced budget, match revenues to expenditures, and reform our business climate to grow jobs.”