The State of Illinois is just a step away from having a balanced budget—on time, according to State Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Rockford). A budget package passed the Illinois Senate on May 25 and now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.
"This is a big deal for a state that has been passing out of balance budgets for decades," said Syverson. "I’d like to thank Governor Rauner and his team for helping us to get to this point."
The budget passed by the Senate cuts more than $1 billion in spending that would have resulted without changes in law. The spending plan delivers $350 million more in K-12 school funding through the evidence-based model, boosts early childhood education by $50 million, while cutting $445 million in pension liability.
"We were able to obtain record levels of school funding and Medicaid dollars headed to our area," said Syverson. "This budget, while not perfect, will provide stability to vital services while slowing the growth of government expenses."
While the passage of a balanced budget represents major progress for Illinois, Syverson noted that there are still several other issues hanging that he hopes can be addressed later in the year.
“It’s extremely disappointing that House members weren’t allowed to vote on a gaming expansion that we’ve been working on for two years,” said Syverson. “Unfortunately the people of the Rockford area will likely now be waiting another year for the economic growth and jobs that this plan would bring.”