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Biss: Work must continue on state budget negotiations

biss 120715EVANSTON — State Sen. Daniel Biss issued the following statement regarding Monday’s Senate vote to release $3.1 billion, including local pass-through money, that has been held up by the budget impasse in Springfield.

“This is an important step in addressing some of the local consequences of Illinois’ prolonged budget stalemate, but our work is not finished,” Biss said. “Public universities and community colleges are struggling because they have not received state funding. Likewise, vital services are on hold for rape victims, the homeless, autistic children, at-risk youth, the poor and people in need of health care because of the impasse.”

The legislation – Senate Bill 2039 – now goes to Gov. Bruce Rauner for his signature.

Critical funding for winter road maintenance, domestic violence shelter programs and local shares of video gaming and motor fuel tax revenue are part of the package. Also included are:

•    $1 billion to the Lottery for prizes.
•    $582.5 million to IDOT for local governments share of motor fuel gas tax revenues.
•    $43 million to the Community College Board for career and technical education activities.
•    $45 million to the Department of Revenue so local governments can receive their share of video gaming proceeds.
•    $3.1 million to the Illinois Math and Science Academy.
•    $31 million to IDOT to purchase road salt.
•    $2.5 million for breast cancer services and research.
•    $28 million for nursing home licensing and inspections.
•    $165 million for home heating bill assistance.
•    $77 million for 911-related costs.
•    $3.1 million to the Illinois Department of Public Health for the Tobacco Quitline.

Biss noted that Gov. Bruce Rauner is scheduled to deliver a budget address for the state in February, yet hasn’t delivered a budget for the state for the current fiscal year yet.

“We must come together, approve a comprehensive budget for the current fiscal year and set aside the differences that are preventing state leaders from having a robust budget negotiation,” Biss said.

Senator Daniel Biss

 biss-2015-lg

9th Senate District

Years served: 2011 - 2012 (House); 2013 - 2018 (Senate)

Committee assignments: Education; Environment and Conservation; Executive Appointments; Human Services; Labor (Chairperson); Revenue.

Biography: Full-time legislator; former University of Chicago math professor; doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and undergraduate degree from Harvard University. Served one term in the House before his election to the Senate. Resides in Evanston with his wife, Karin, and their children, Elliot and Theodore. Co-chair of a bipartisan pensions working group in the House and chair of the Digital Divide Elimination Advisory Committee.