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Harmon: Budget keeps Illinois on path to stability

harmon 040119SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) voted today for a responsible, balanced budget that keeps Illinois on its path to stability while funding much-needed programs for middle-class and working families.

“This is a responsible and balanced while funding vital programs,” Harmon said. “We are continuing to honor our commitment to ending the chaos of past years and moving toward stability for our state.”

The approved budget appropriates $375 million in additional funding for K-12 education, $25 million more than required by the evidence-based school funding formula. It also includes $50 million in new funding for early childhood education programs and expands eligibility for the Child Care Assistance Program.

Human service providers that are still struggling to recover from the previous governor’s budget crisis will receive millions in funding, from domestic violence shelters to early intervention programs.

The budget also gives a long-awaited raise to home health care workers. Those who care for seniors and individuals with disabilities are set to receive an increase of approximately $3.50 per hour.

Fine, Senate approve balanced budget

fine 030619SPRINGFIELD – A balanced budget passed the Illinois Senate today after receiving support from a majority of the body, including State Senator Laura Fine (D-Glenview), who afterward issued the following statement:

“Today I joined many of my colleagues in the Senate in passing a fiscally responsible, balanced budget for the next fiscal year. This budget will provide funding to essential human services, schools and universities in our state.

“I’m thrilled at the investment this budget puts toward not just colleges and universities, but prospective students as well. We are investing in our students through an increase in MAP grants and the AIM HIGH. We need to show students in Illinois that we are willing to invest in their education and their futures.

“This budget, although not perfect, will provide predictability for our providers, municipalities, schools, community colleges and universities. I will bring stability as our state moves into the next fiscal year”

The budget passed the Senate as a series of several bills and must be approved by the House of Representatives before being sent to the governor. Should they receive the governor’s signature, they would go into effect July 1.

Gillespie approves balanced budget that prioritizes education, workforce training

gillespie 032719SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights) voted for the proposed budget that passed the Senate today, emphasizing the importance of its increased funding for education and skills training.

“The budget we passed today creates a robust framework for workforce development,” said Gillespie. “Coupled with the bills I’ve passed this session, I believe that our manufacturing, health care and technological innovation industries will be revitalized and provide good-paying jobs in communities across the state.”

Under the proposed budget for FY20, community colleges would receive an additional $20 million for skills training and workforce development programs. The appropriations for higher education would be increased by 5 percent, and Monetary Assistance Program (MAP) grants for college students would see an additional $50 million.

“Not only does this budget prioritize the right areas, but it is fiscally sound,” said Gillespie. “We should see a multimillion-dollar surplus, and ensure a predictable business environment employers.”

The budget will go to the House for concurrence before being sent to the governor.

Jones supports balanced budget to move Illinois toward economic stability

jones 030519SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Emil Jones (D-Chicago) voted today for a budget that increases violence prevention grants, education and DCFS.

“Our state was in a hostile place for a few years, but this year’s budget puts Illinois in better shape than before,” Jones said. “We are on a path toward stability and funding all the services Illinois needs.”

“Additionally, the budget is funding a program that helps our kids escape violence and creates new career opportunities,” Jones said.

The budget appropriates $12 million in grants to address violence prevention efforts state statewide, including downstate communities, Chicago and the suburbs.

P-12 education will have record-breaking funding of $8.8 billion, and higher education will receive a 5 percent increase to support community college and universities.

The Monetary Award Program (MAP) will receive $451 million in next year’s budget – a $50 million increase over last year.

AIM HIGH, a program that works to reduce the costs of college for working and middle-class students, will receive an additional $10 million in funding, a move Jones hopes will help combat student out migration.    

DCFS will receive an additional $100 million to hire 300 staff and caseworkers, reducing worker caseload and ensuring more attentive oversight for children and families under the agency’s care.

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