FY2021 Budget

  • Crowe supports new law to assist schools with pandemic challenges

    crowe 060319MARYVILLE – As part of the state’s response to COVID-19, State Senator Rachelle Crowe (D-Glen Carbon) supported legislation to help school districts address the challenges created by the pandemic, signed into law Thursday by the governor.

    Senate Bill 1569 makes a number of changes that help schools adjust to remote learning and other challenges imposed by the pandemic, including:

    Allowing for the creation of remote learning days and remote learning plans,

    Allowing for a combination of remote learning and in-person instruction,

    Suspending clock hour requirements when a disaster is declared,

    Affirming graduation modifications granted to Spring 2020 graduates, and

    Allowing mandated exams to be completed remotely.

    “No one can predict our circumstances in the fall. This law allows school districts to adapt,” Crowe said. “It should help educators find new ways of educating students through e-learning.”

    Because teacher evaluations for the 2020-2021 school year have been paused due to COVID-19, the measure extends teacher license renewals by one year.

    The legislation also extends a law allowing retired teachers to return to the classroom as substitutes for up to 120 paid days or 600 paid hours without impairing their retirement status.

    “Illinois’ teacher shortage continues to affect communities throughout the state,” Crowe said. “Recognizing the ongoing struggle for downstate school districts to staff qualified teachers, this initiative protects retired teachers’ benefits while allowing them to serve as long-term substitutes.”

    Finally, the legislation also makes it easier for college students who receive financial assistance through the Aspirational Institutional Match Illinois Grow Higher Education Grant Pilot Program, also known as AIM HIGH, to retain their aid for the duration of their four years of undergraduate studies.

    AIM HIGH provides financial assistance to eligible low-income students who attend one of the state’s 12 public universities. Under the measure, the income of a student when entering the program will be the income of the student for the life of the program.

    Senate Bill 1569 is effective immediately.

  • Belt supports new education package to help teachers and students through the COVID-19 crisis

    belt 050819EAST ST. LOUIS – To help schools overcome obstacles caused by COVID-19, State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) supported a new package of legislation containing numerous measures to provide teachers and students with the tools they need to adapt during the current health crisis.

    “Students have been deprived of many milestones, like proms and graduations, and remote learning hasn’t been an easy transition for kids or teachers,” Belt said. “This education package is an effort to provide schools with the resources they need to get through this difficult period.”

    The education package contains a number of measures to help students and teachers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including a one-year extension for educator license renewals, so teachers don’t have to go through the renewal process while working remotely. 

    The legislation also allows mandatory tests to be taken remotely to enable students to take college readiness exams without risking their health. 

    Certain provisions relate to higher education during the pandemic. Under the new law, any grade of “pass,” “credit” or “satisfactory” during the public health emergency is transferable and will fulfill prerequisite requirements for more advanced college courses. 

    It also modifies income requirements for the state's AIM HIGH education grant program, saying a student’s income when they enter the program will remain their income for the duration of their inclusion in the program.

    Senate Bill 1569 was signed into law Thursday.  

  • COVID-19 response package for education signed into law

    bennett 052419SPRINGFIELD — State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) lent his support to a comprehensive education package that was signed into law Thursday. It addresses the unique challenges facing the state’s education system due to COVID-19. 

    “When the COVID-19 pandemic began, schools shifted to remote learning, leaving teachers, students and families to face unfamiliar challenges for the remainder of the spring semester,” Bennett said. “This package offers them support during an unprecedented time and ensures students will get the best education possible – whether it be online or in-person.”

    The education package does a number of things to help students and teachers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including extending educator license renewals for one year, so teachers don’t have to go through the renewal process while working remotely. 

    Additionally, for public college and university students, any grade of “pass,” “credit,” or “satisfactory” during the public health emergency is transferable and will fulfill prerequisite requirements for more advanced courses. 

    The legislation – Senate Bill 1569 – was signed into law Thursday and takes effect immediately.

  • Bertino-Tarrant’s education package signed into law

    Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant

    PLAINFIELD — The state’s education package spearheaded by State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood), which will provide assistance and relief to teachers and schools that were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, became law today.

    “Teachers and students are dealing with a situation they could have never planned for, so it’s our responsibility to ensure they get the support they need,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Our educators must be equipped with the right tools to give students a quality education — even if they do so from a distance.”

    The education package does a number of things to help students and teachers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes extending educator license renewals for one year, so teachers don’t have to go through the renewal process while working remotely. It also allows for mandatory tests to be taken remotely, so students don’t have to risk getting sick in order to take an exam they need to apply for college.

    Additionally, relating to higher education, any grade of “pass,” “credit,” or “satisfactory” during the public health emergency is transferable and will fulfill prerequisite requirements for more advanced courses.

    “Students who worked hard on their classes during unprecedented circumstances should not have to sacrifice that work because they didn’t get a typical letter grade,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “Allowing students who have completed the coursework to get the credit is a commonsense practice.”

    It also modifies income requirements for the state's AIM HIGH education grant program, saying a student’s income when they enter the program will remain their income for the duration of their inclusion in the program.

    “Investing in our children is one of the best investments we can make,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “I’m proud to have carried this package through the Senate and onto the governor’s office.”

    The education package — found in Senate Bill 1569 — was signed into law June 18 and takes effect immediately.

  • Ellman highlights education, local government and energy assistance program in FY 21 budget

    ellman 05222019CW0455rSPRINGFIELD - Following the signing of the Illinois FY 2021 budget, State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) highlighted the preservation of education and local government funding and efforts to address financial challenges presented by COVID-19.

    Ellman emphasized that with this budget, the state is committed to maintaining and making full pension payments, as well as holding the line for P-12 and higher education funding.

    “We have a responsibly to hold up our end of the bargain and continue to maintain the state’s pension payments and education funding,” Ellman said. “Now, more than ever, it is absolutely imperative that we provide confidence for our students and educators in these uncertain times.”

    Ellman also highlighted a provision in the budget that expanded the eligibility of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program through June 2021. LIHEAP is a program to assist low-income households struggling with paying their utility bills. 

    “This pandemic has effected all of us, even more so for the financial security of those who are already having trouble paying their bills,” Ellman said. “Expanding the eligibility for this program was a necessary step to ensure that those who are already struggling don’t fall through the cracks.”

    In addition, this year’s budget provides an increase to the Local Government Distributive Fund. The fund provides local governments with a share of the state’s income tax revenue and will help them make up for budget shortfalls caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The law takes effect July 1, 2020.

  • Lightford: This budget begins to reimagine our state

    lightford 052020SPRINGFIELD – Senate Majority Leader Kimberly A. Lightford (D-Maywood) released the following statement after Governor JB Pritzker signed the Fiscal Year 21 budget, found in Senate Bill 264, providing funding for services that will put Illinois on the road to recovery from the health and economic stresses caused by the COVID-19 outbreak.

    “When we approved this budget, we did not think we would be in the middle of a movement today. I am proud of the work we did to bring much-needed funds to minority communities that were placed in the path of the COVID-19 storm as a result of decades of systemic racism.

    “This budget is only the beginning of reimagining our state. We will continue to fight boldly for basic human rights through a path that not only recognizes the wrongs of the past, but turns the tide once and for all. I look forward to continuing this important work alongside Governor Pritzker and my colleagues in the General Assembly.”

  • Peters: Budget provides important services to those who are struggling

    peters 031020CHICAGO – State Senator Robert Peters (D-Chicago) released the following statement after Gov. JB Pritzker signed the Fiscal Year 21 state budget into law Wednesday:

    “When we passed the budget, we included funding for many important services for those who are struggling in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. At the time, we didn’t know that we were only a few weeks away from widespread protests against systemic inequality and a global fight for justice. While this budget doesn’t directly address any of the issues that demonstrators are protesting against, it does provide support to the vulnerable people that many are marching in support of. It boosts funding for mental health and substance abuse programs and provides nearly $400 million in rent and mortgage payment relief, as well as offering many other different types of assistance to the families that need it the most.”

  • Sims: State budget provides desperately needed resources in midst of pandemic

    sims floor 052220SPRINGFIELD—State Senator Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago) released the following statement after the governor signed the budget on Wednesday:

    “My colleagues and I went back to Springfield with the weight of the COVID-19 pandemic heavy on our shoulders. We strived to pass a budget that would maintain our core services while also directing resources to help communities and businesses who have been devastated as a result of the virus.

    “This budget does exactly that by preserving P-12 education with a $12.6 billion investment.

    “We are using funds from the CARES Act stimulus package to provide more resources to communities who are struggling during the pandemic. That includes $100 million in housing assistance and $636 million in business interruption grants.

    “And to protect our communities during this health crisis, $1 billion dollars will go to our local and state health departments.

    “The budget was extremely difficult to craft in these unprecedented times, but I believe it will provide desperately needed relief to communities as we continue on a path toward recovery.”

    Senate Bill 264 takes effect July 1..

  • Holmes lauds funding for key COVID-19 recovery needs in budget signed into law today

    holmes chair2 022520SPRINGFIELD — Assistant Majority Leader Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) looks forward to the relief the new budget legislation will bring following its signing by the governor this morning.

    “This was unlike any other budget process given the unprecedented essentials funding required for the many services needed to respond and recover from COVID-19’s after effects,” Holmes said. “Education, human services, job recovery, infrastructure and public safety all needed immediate attention to get our people and institutions back on their feet and the economy back on track, and we pulled this together in a bipartisan manner.”

    Holmes led the Senate Working Group on unemployment, which was a cooperative effort including input from labor and business groups.

    “We’ve provided the Department of Employment Security with nearly $60 million in additional funding to help address the challenges with the unemployment system,” Holmes said. “I’ve heard from dozens of constituents who’ve had problems registering and receiving their benefits; this will help the agency increase the number of workers to help aid residents in navigating the unemployment system and process claims faster.”

    Holmes also lauded the budget for ensuring the state will make its full pension payment commitment as planned. It is a cornerstone of ongoing efforts to address our underfunded pension systems, without taking away from COVID-19 recovery needs.

    “People in the 42nd District need consistency and peace of mind right now, and the COVID-19 recovery budget items will provide help for those needing it.”

  • Hunter: FY21 budget will help mend health and economic damages caused by virus, stronger investments needed in the future

    hunter floor 0523CHICAGO - State Senator Mattie Hunter (D-Chicago) released the following statement in response to the signing of the state’s fiscal year 2021 budget by Governor JB Pritzker:

    “This budget will go a long way toward mending the health and economic damages caused by the current pandemic, which have been largely concentrated in black communities I represent. Additionally, it will help protect the health and well-being of older Illinoisans and people with disabilities by strengthening the Community Care Program and the Home Services Program, which are key to our fight against COVID-19.

    “While it will take bold investments for years to come to close the vast racial health inequities further exposed by the pandemic, this budget lays the groundwork by expanding funding for Medicaid and community health centers. I appreciate Governor Pritzker recognizing that critical need, and I hope he will continue to make these disparities a priority when we return to Springfield.”

  • Villanueva: State budget helps those left behind in CARES Act

    villanueva floor 052220CHICAGO – As this year’s budget was signed into law, State Senator Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago) commended its focus on providing relief for the most vulnerable during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “Relief packages from the federal government have systematically left out those who need the most help,” Villanueva said. “Our budget affirms the dignity of all people by ensuring that no one is left behind.”

    With thousands of Illinoisans out of work, the Illinois Housing Development Authority was allocated $396 million for rent and mortgage assistance grants. Residents who lost their income due to the pandemic will be eligible for these grants. The Illinois Department of Employment Security was also given an additional $60 million to reduce the backlog of claims needing to be processed.

    Because many immigrant families were left out of federal relief, the state is adding $32 million to immigrant welcoming centers. These centers reduce systemic barriers that immigrant residents may face when accessing state services. Medicaid eligibility was also expanded to include all seniors regardless of status so long as they meet all other eligibility requirements.

    Senate Bill 264 takes effect July 1.

  • Glowiak Hilton: Local governments will receive extra assistance in state budget

    glowiak floor 052220WESTERN SPRINGS – As the state budget was signed into law, State Senator Suzy Glowiak Hilton (D-Western Springs) commended its focus on helping municipal governments cope with the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “As we begin to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, local governments will play a critical role,” Glowiak Hilton said. “This budget ensures that they are equipped with the funding needed to help struggling residents.”

    The FY21 state budget increases local government distributive funds by 5%. These funds, which come from a portion of state income tax revenue, are shared with municipal governments so that their local tax burden can remain low. The budget also ensures that no funds can be withheld from municipalities for allowing businesses to reopen early.

    Small business owners who suffered a loss in revenue due to the pandemic were also prioritized in this year’s budget. Over $600 million was allocated to help businesses with money reserved specifically for daycare providers.

    Senator Glowiak Hilton is committed to helping residents and business owners connect to the relief programs made available in the budget. While her office is closed, staff are working remotely and can be reached at 630-785-3177 or at www.SenatorSuzyGlowiak.com.

  • Van Pelt: State budget provides crucial support

    vanpelt 030320 1CHICAGO – Senator Patricia Van Pelt (D-Chicago) issued the following statement today as the Governor signed the budget for the upcoming fiscal year:

    “Many are suffering grave misfortunes due to COVID-19, and it’s crucial that the state budget provides all the support possible to the organizations that need it now more than ever.

    “I am glad that the governor stands with the General Assembly, and signed a budget that safeguards funding for the schools, universities, non-profits and the social service programs that are essential to our communities.

    “The people and the organizations that are most vulnerable will get the support they need, with an additional $600 million for affected businesses, and an additional $600 million for the Department of Public Health, all while protecting education from any budget cuts.

    “The Community Care Program will get another $28 million, which is just one way this budget aims to protect the elderly, one of the populations worst affected by the coronavirus.

    “This budget acknowledges that we are in a crisis while balancing the needs of the people with state resources and available opportunities from the federal government. I look forward to organizations getting the relief they need.”

  • Morrison applauds additional DCFS funding in state budget

    morrison floor2 52220DEERFIELD — State Senator Julie Morrison (D-Lake Forest) released the following statement after Gov. JB Pritzker signed the Fiscal Year 21 budget, which provides more funding for DCFS:

    “No state agency has gone through more turmoil over the past decade. While not every problem revolves around funding, many of the Department of Children and Family Services’ high-profile failures come from a lack of resources. 

    “This additional funding is necessary to boost the workforce, which would reduce caseloads for investigators and allow more attention to go toward services. More funding means the ability to hire more highly trained workers who have the determination and stability to take on one of the state’s toughest jobs. 

    "I will work diligently with DCFS to hold them accountable and make sure the additional funding is used appropriately for resources to best help our state's most vulnerable children. 

    “Children should not have to suffer — especially at a time when they are home more often in situations that could be dangerous. We must be there for them. More money for DCFS will protect our children — and that’s the best investment we can make.” 

  • Bennett: Budget to support communities during pandemic signed by governor

    bennett floor 052220SPRINGFIELD –As Illinois continues to address the COVID-19 pandemic, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) hopes struggling families and local businesses will see relief under a state budget that sustains education funding at all levels and makes important investments in communities and programs to help begin to repair the economy.

    To protect the public during this health crisis, this budget provides an additional $600 million to the Illinois Department of Public Health – in part thanks to the federal CARES Act – and fully funds other vital state agencies that are helping protect residents during this emergency. In addition, it provides an additional $400 million for local health departments.

    “This budget represents stability in a time of uncertainty,” Bennett said. “We cannot combat the COVID-19 pandemic without investing in our public health departments, so these investments are critical as our health departments are our fighting force against this virus.”

    To help communities recover from COVID-19, the budget also provides $200 million to help businesses in downstate communities. Nearly $80 million is set aside to help people with rent and mortgage assistance and nearly $60 million in additional funding to the Department of Employment Security to help address the challenges with the unemployment system.

    “During this crisis, we have seen record increases in the number of people applying for unemployment, and it’s vital that IDES has the resources to aid residents who are struggling through this pandemic,” Bennett said. “This added funding is crucial to protect Illinoisans displaced by the pandemic.”

    To ensure students do not fall behind, this budget also maintains the state’s commitment to fully fund P-12 education and represents level funding for higher education.

    The approved budget is for Fiscal Year 2021, which begins July 1.

  • State budget preserves vital services

    CapitolSW ftr 061020

  • Castro pleased with COVID-19 relief provisions in budget

    castro floor2 052120ELGIN – After Gov. JB Pritkzer signed the state budget for the next fiscal year, State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin), who supported the budget proposals during the brief May session, released the following statement:

    “The budget is a realistic response to the current fiscal situation the COVID-19 pandemic has presented us with. It contains relief for our local small businesses, funding to provide PPE to our community’s hard working medical professionals, rent and mortgage assistance for families hit the hardest by the crisis, and support for immigrant and underserved communities who have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus.”

  • Feigenholtz: Budget provides critical support for social services, preserves school funding

    feigenholtz 021920CHICAGO – The new Fiscal Year 2021 state budget signed into law today provides needed funding for the social services and ensures education remains fully funded in Illinois according to State Senator Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago).

    “We have a responsibility to protect Illinoisans during this pandemic, and that means preserving the services on which they rely,” Feigenholtz said. “This budget will help guide our state through these challenging times.”

    The new state budget includes major investments in social services that provide assistance to Illinoisans who need it most. This includes nearly $180 million in additional funding for the Department of Children and Family Services, which is in severe need of more resources to better care for the state’s children. 

    The budget also includes $90 million to provide care for people with developmental disabilities, who have often found themselves isolated from friends and family during the pandemic. Funding was also increased by more than $110 million for the Home Services Program, which helps people with disabilities live independently in their own homes. 

    “Now isn’t the time to be cutting resources that support some of the most vulnerable people in our state,” Feigenholtz said. “I’m proud to have voted for a budget that preserves important care for Illinois residents and ensures no one is left behind during this crisis.”

    The state’s new budget also preserves funding for P-12 education for a total investment of $12.6 billion, including $7.2 billion for Illinois’ evidence-based funding model. This ensures that schools will not be receiving less in state funding than they did last year.

    “Although it’s still unclear what our schools will look like in the fall, it’s critical that we ensure they have the funds they need to help students succeed, whether in the classroom or learning from home,” Feigenholtz said. “This budget keeps our education funding system on track and puts us in a position to continue increasing funding according to the evidence-based formula next year.”

  • Belt: Budget sets aside funds for seniors, unemployment and downstate small businesses

    belt 030520EAST ST. LOUIS – State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) released the following statement after Gov. JB Pritzker signed a budget that supports the most vulnerable populations and helps people impacted by COVID-19:

    “We are well aware that Illinois’ financial recovery will not happen overnight, but with the signing of this budget, we made sure the most disadvantaged communities hit by COVID-19 receive the help they deserve. Seniors will receive additional funding for the Senior Meals Program and the Community Care Program, which allows seniors to stay within the confinements of their home instead of moving to assisted living facilities. 

    “Additionally, more than $200 million is set aside to help businesses effected by COVID-19 in downstate communities. Also, people who have been laid off will receive more help from the Department of Employment Security to help address the challenges with the unemployment system. This is a great first step toward our state’s financial recovery.”

  • Stadelman highlights education and local government funding in FY 21 budget

    stadelman floor 052220rSPRINGFIELD – Following the signing of the Illinois FY 2021 budget, State Senator Steve Stadelman (D-Rockford) applauded the preservation of education and local government funding and efforts to address the challenges presented by COVID-19.

    “This budget was passed under unusual circumstances, and that cannot be overstated,” Stadelman said. “We had to not only pass a responsible budget, but also address the many challenges the state and its people have faced due to COVID-19.”

    Stadelman highlighted that in this budget the state has committed to holding the line for P-12 and higher education funding.

    “As a state, we must continue to maintain steady funding for our schools,” Stadelman said. “Districts have had to make significant adjustments due to COVID-19. It was important that we showed our students and educators that they are a priority.”

    The budget fully funds the Local Government Distributive Fund. The fund provides local governments with a share of the state’s income tax revenue and will help them make up for budget shortfalls caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “Our cities and small towns depend on us to ensure that they have enough funds to serve their residents,” Stadelman said. “Making sure that cities like Rockford receive the funds they need was a top priority for me.”

    Despite financial challenges, the budget maintains services for people in need and assists small businesses hit hard by COVID-19. It also includes federal relief dollars for health care and frontline workers.

    “This is a budget to help us get through the pandemic,” Stadelman said. “It certainly isn't perfect, but it provides the state with stability until there are better days to come.”

    The law is effective July 1, 2020.