You’ve probably heard by now that the General Assembly passed and the governor signed a bill appropriating funds to pay for a wide variety of state operations. The bill passed overwhelmingly with the support of a large majority of Democrats and Republicans. I don’t want to call it a success, since this represents the bare minimum of our duty. I am pleased, however, that for many, the immediate crisis of the impasse has ceased.
Specifically, the bill contains a full year of funding for K-12 education. It provides for a substantial amount of non-general revenue funding, averting repeats of events last year such as the failure to pay lottery winners. Road work will continue and transit agencies received funding. State institutions of higher education will receive funding for the next six months of operations. Human service agencies that have gone unpaid over the past year will now begin to see payments return, though at a substantially reduced rate.
This temporary stopgap spending plan doesn’t begin to address our state’s long-term fiscal issues. It fails to completely honor our commitments, particularly to human service providers. It relies on one-time changes to accounting practices and continued court-ordered appropriations. We’re continuing to deficit spend and we desperately need to repair Illinois’ financial underpinnings.
Despite all these flaws, I voted for it, because it brings needed stability and predictability to millions of Illinoisans and it represents an important and hard-won milestone of compromise between Republicans and Democrats. It’s my hope that rather than an attempt to save face before an election, this deal represents a foundation of trust on which we can build.
This spending plan demonstrates that Republicans and Democrats agree that budget cuts alone won’t solve our problems. Moving forward, we need to find compromise on the level of revenue needed to support this plan as well as a consensus package of growth-oriented reforms. I look forward to continue working on a comprehensive budget with my colleagues and Governor Rauner. We can and will do better.
I hope you and your families have a wonderful time celebrating Independence Day. As a final reminder, I’ll be marching in the Northbrook parade on Monday, July 4
. If you’d like to join us, we are Group #1. We’ll be meeting at Cherry and Western at 1:30pm.
The parade begins promptly at 2:30
. Please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
if you’d like to join.
Thank you as always for the opportunity to represent you.