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As road, gaming funds pass, Holmes calls for MAP grants funding

holmes 120715Authorization passes Senate, will head to governor

SPRINGFIELD — State Sen. Linda Holmes issued the following statement after voting Yes today on an authorization that will release funding for the Illinois Math and Science Academy in Aurora, winter road maintenance funds and gaming revenue to local governments.

The vast majority of funding in question is either federal pass-through dollars or the local shares of motor fuel and gaming taxes to which municipalities are already entitled.

“Today, we were able to ensure that funds that rightly belong in our universities and local governments are put to use,” said Holmes, D-Aurora. “Yet, thousands of students throughout the state are still waiting for Monetary Award Program grants. Inaction on the part of the governor is putting the college educations of these students in doubt. I call on him and on my colleagues in the General Assembly to approve these vital funds.”

Besides releasing motor fuel taxes that help local governments buy road salt and authorizing federal money for state community colleges, the funds released today would:
•    reimburse lottery winners who have gone unpaid.
•    ensure Driver Services Facilities continue operation.
•    provide the Attorney General’s Office with funding for victim advocacy and support for domestic violence survivors, among other programs.
•    fund domestic violence shelters, 911 services, breast cancer research and veterans’ homes throughout the state.

Senate Bill 2039 passed the Senate 53-0 after it passed the House with near-unanimous support last week. It awaits Gov. Bruce Rauner’s signature to take effect.

Hunter votes for Cook County, LIHEAP funding

hunter 120715SPRINGFIELD – Cook County residents soon will receive $93.94 million in critical funding for LIHEAP, winter road maintenance and local shares of video gaming and motor fuel tax revenue.

“I voted so that vulnerable residents and seniors could receive the energy assistance they deserve,” said State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago, 3). “Hopefully Governor Rauner will stand with us and sign this bill so our local communities can receive critical funding.”

The Senate approved legislation today to free up gas tax money for Cook County residents and recipients of LIHEAP. According to last year’s estimates, Cook County received $93.94 million in gas tax dollars, while the state received $275.53 million.

Senate Bill 2039 also includes funding for the following:

•    $1 billion to the Lottery for prizes
•    $165 million for home heating bill assistance
•    $77 million for 911-related costs
•    $45 million to the Dept. of Revenue so local governments can receive their share of video gaming proceeds
•    $43 million to the Community College Board for career and technical education activities
•    $31 million to IDOT to purchase road salt
•    $28 million for nursing home licensing and inspections
•    $3.1 million to the Illinois Department of Public Health for the Tobacco Quitline
•    $2.5 million for breast cancer services and research

The bill now goes to the governor’s desk to be signed into law. While Gov. Bruce Rauner stated he supports this plan, he vetoed similar measures in June when the budget impasse began.

Koehler votes to fund local services

koehler ardisSPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Dave Koehler (D-Peoria) voted today to release $3.1 billion in funding that has been held up by the budget impasse.

“Today’s action was positive,” Koehler said. “I’m glad a compromise could be agreed to that authorizes spending for winter road maintenance, 911 emergency services, home heating bill assistance and other essential programs.”

The package includes local shares of motor fuel tax revenues and ensures the lottery can pay all prize winners.

“Authorizing dollars to be passed from the state to local governments so they can provide core services is particularly important,” Koehler said. “Local officials in central Illinois have expressed their concerns to me regarding the uncertainty of what funding they will receive from the state this year.
Thankfully, once this is signed into law, they will have clarity.”

The legislation frees up gas tax money for communities in Peoria, Tazewell and Fulton Counties that can be used to patch potholes and prepare for winter storms.

State transportation officials haven’t provided exact numbers on how much communities are owed. Last year, though, across Peoria County local governments received more than $6.9 million in gas tax money. Throughout Tazewell County, local governments received more than $5.7 million last year, and in Fulton County they received more than $2.3 million.

Dollar amounts for key components of Senate Bill 2039 are below.

•    $582.5 million to IDOT for local governments share of motor fuel gas tax revenues.
•    $77 million for 911-related costs.
•    $31 million to IDOT to purchase road salt.
•    $1 billion to the Lottery for prizes.
•    $43 million to the Community College Board for career and technical education activities.
•    $45 million to the Dept of Revenue so local governments can receive their share of video gaming proceeds.
•    $2.5 million for breast cancer services and research.
•    $28 million for nursing home licensing and inspections.
•    $165 million for home heating bill assistance.
•    $3.1 million to the Illinois Department of Public Health for the Tobacco Quitline.
The House approved House Amendment 4 to Senate Bill 2039 last week, and the Senate, with Koehler’s support, approved it today. Now it’s up to the governor to sign it into law.

Tom Cullerton leads compromise to get local taxpayers’ money

tc-sb2039

SPRINGFIELD- DuPage County residents may soon have millions of dollars going back in their communities to keep their roads safe, local health departments operating and provide energy assistance to seniors.

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park), sponsor of Senate Bill 2039, led efforts to get local money back to the people of Illinois.

“The key point is that this gets local money back in local hands where it can do some good,” said Cullerton.

The Senate concurred on SB 2039, a bipartisan compromise that, among other things, gets millions in gas tax money back in local communities. That money had been stalled in Springfield since July 1 because of the budget stalemate with the governor.

That gas tax money totals millions of dollars for area communities. For instance, last year, Villa Park received $542,276 and local governments across all of DuPage County received more than $33.5 million last year.

“My interest as a former mayor is to make sure our local governments have what they need to keep our communities safe and services running,” said Cullerton. “This is a step in the right direction. I’ll continue to work with the General Assembly and governor to reach a compromise and put a responsible budget in place.”

SB 2039 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support and now moves to the governor for approval.  

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