House Passes School Budget Stopgap

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.