06-30AWith just hours remaining in Fiscal Year 2016, Democrat and Republican lawmakers came together Thursday to approve a clean, 12-month K-12 Education bill, and a six-month temporary budget for other budget areas, including higher education, human and social services, prisons and road/bridge construction projects. The $50.6 billion budget includes $8.6 billion in general funds, $33.6 billion in other state funds and $8.4 billion in federal funds.


House Republican Floor Leader Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove) led the Republican debate on the five bills in the budget compromise package, and called the bills “a definite and incremental step in the right direction.”


“Republicans have stood for fiscal sanity from the beginning, and today we saw, for the first time in a very long time, balanced budgeting in Illinois,” said Sandack. “I’ll stop short of calling this a victory, because the terms were not extended over a full year for most budget areas.”


SB 2047, approved in a 105-4-1 vote, includes:


  • The largest 12-month allocation toward K-12 education in Illinois history
    • More than a $520 million increase in funding over FY16, for a total of $7.2 billion
    • 100% funding of the school formula foundation level for the first time in seven years
    • A hold-harmless provision that guarantees that no school district will receive less money than in FY16 due to declining enrollment or increased property values
    • A $250 million equity grant to be allocated to the state’s most low-income districts
    • A $75 million increase for early childhood education programs
    • No Chicago Public Schools bailout; but permission granted to the City of Chicago to raise local taxes for their public schools
    • Potential for CPS to receive a $205 million “pension parity” grant in the future (tied to the approval of pension reform in the General Assembly)
  • Six-month bridge funding
    • $1 billion for higher education (on top of the $600 million already approved through a stopgap measure in the spring)
    • $729 million for critical State government operations (IL Department of Transportation, mental health centers, prisons, veterans homes)
    • $701 million for critical human services not currently paid through consent decrees or court orders
    • $8.4 billion to allow Illinois to take full advantage of matching federal funds
    • $53.7 billion for the continuation of road/bridge projects, school construction grants and local water/sewer improvements, debt service payments and lottery payouts


“This comprehensive plan is the result of good faith negotiations from leaders from both parties, and while not perfect, it provides stability. Like any good negotiation, there are parts of this plan I like and there are parts of it I don’t like. But this package ensures every school will open on time with full funding of the foundation level, and provides a half-year of funding for other agencies and service providers that have really been struggling,” Sandack said. “This is not a homerun. This is a base hit.”