In the final hours of Fiscal Year 2016, Republican and Democrat lawmakers came together and approved a package of bills that funds K-12 education at record-high levels for all of FY17, provides for six months of funding for all other key budget areas, and freezes lawmaker pay.
SB 2047, approved in a 105-4 vote, includes:
This is not a perfect plan. In fact, there are parts of this comprehensive agreement that I do not like. However, this was a negotiation, and we met in the middle to allow every school in Illinois to open on time in the fall, to provide bridge funding to the charitable agencies that serve Illinois’ most vulnerable citizens, and to freeze pay for lawmakers.
In particular, K-12 education will be funded in FY17 at the highest level in our state’s history. For the first time in seven years, the “funding formula” will not be prorated. This means that each of our schoolchildren will receive 100% of the funds promised to them under state law. Most importantly, this measure removes children from the crossfire of the budget and reform negotiations, which Democrat legislative leaders have put on hold until after the November elections.
Lawmakers will now return to their home districts until after the election. Per the House calendar, we will return to Springfield on November 15 for the Fall Veto Session. While I don’t agree with going home without a full-year budget and necessary reform, we’ve been promised that the budget and reform working groups will continue to meet and work toward a full-year balanced budget that provides for all Illinois services through June 30, 2017.
District 48 Schools to Receive Record-High Funding in FY17
Governor Signs Enhancement to Open Meetings Act to Help Reform Efforts
HB 4630 was approved unanimously by both houses of the General Assembly this spring. It was inspired by bad actions by several local government units to withhold records from reform members of local government boards—both in the Chicagoland area and in other parts of the state. Governor Rauner signed the bill into law on Thursday, June 30 as P.A. 99-515.
As your voice in Springfield, I’m working to make our state and our communities the best they can be. If you have any questions or concerns or would like to invite me to speak to a group in the 48th District, please contact my office at (630) 403-8135, or visit reppeterbreen.org and click the contact button.
Yours in good government,