Springfield, IL... The House and Senate today passed a stopgap funding plan meant to serve as a bridge to a more comprehensive balanced budget for Fiscal Year 17. Senate Bill 2047 provides a full year of funding for elementary and secondary education, road construction, federal programs and other non-General Revenue Fund (GRF) programs for both fiscal years 2016 and 2017. It also includes GRF money to cover utilities, food and medical services at state prisons, mental health centers, veterans’ homes and other 24 hour care facilities as well as critical human services not being paid under consent decrees or court order until the end of the year.

“While it is regrettable that it took so long to come to agreement, I'm pleased that bipartisan compromise won out before it was too late,” Rep. Jesiel said. “As we’ve seen over the past year, compromise is possible if both parties are serious and committed. This bill will ensure that schools have the resources they need for the entire year and that critical state operations and services can continue through the end of the year.”

For fiscal year 2017 operations, the total package is $50.6 billion. This includes $8.6 billion in general funds primarily for K-12 education, $33.6 billion in other state funds and $8.4 billion federal funds. K-12 education will receive more than a $520 million increase compared to FY16 to fund schools at 100% of the foundation level for the first time in seven years. This bipartisan agreement will ensure vital state services remain open and operating while the Governor and the legislature continue to work on a full year balanced budget with reforms that will help grow our economy.

Jesiel continued, “The bills we passed today are far from a panacea for Illinois’ budget and financial problems. What we have passed today is a Band-Aid for a very large wound. We should take today to acknowledge the success of passing this bipartisan effort, but get back to it tomorrow. Now is not the time to take the foot off the gas pedal, we should use this momentum to forge ahead on a full, balanced and constitutional state budget.”

SB 2047 now heads to the Governor who is expected to sign it immediately.

The University Center of Lake County will hold a free Open House on Wednesday, July 13 from 6 - 8 pm at the University Center's Grayslake facility. It will showcase the 130 academic programs from 20 Illinois institutions available in Lake County for adults who wish to complete a bachelor’s degree, earn a graduate degree or pursue professional certificates.  It will also include a half-hour workshop for prospective students who may have concerns about balancing school, work, and family life called "Mapping Your Return to School".

WXLC will be broadcasting live from the Open House until 7:30, so prospective students can stop by to meet an XLC radio personality and to try their hands at winning some immediate financial aid from the WXLC cash machine.
State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) is hosting a free document shredding event on Saturday, June 25 in Beach Park. The event will be held at Beach Park Middle School, 40667 N. Green Bay Road in Beach Park from 9am to noon.

“For anyone wishing to dispose of sensitive documents you can’t safely put in the trash anymore, this is a great opportunity,” said Jesiel. “My staff and volunteers will be available to unload documents and have them immediately shredded.”

Please note the limit of two bags per car: 

"Nothing is more important to the residents of Illinois than a bi-partisan agreement on a balanced budget. I’m dissatisfied and disappointed that the progress toward compromise was dismantled as the minutes ticked down to the end of regular session tonight.

Realistic opportunities to produce a solution existed; unfortunately, the will to pursue and enact them did not. For months, groups have been working on solutions; for months, the process was delayed in order to force a last-minute vote. We should have been able to produce and vote on a constitutionally-required balanced budget tonight. Illinoisans deserve better."