State Sen. Neil Anderson issued the following statement after the Senate passed a state budget May 30. Anderson voted in favor of the budget bills.
“This balanced budget, with no new tax increases, represents a good change for the people of Illinois.
“I am pleased the budget invests new dollars in K-12 education and higher education, including fully funding MAP grants. Investing in our students and our schools will set Illinois on a brighter future. We’ve had far too many students choose out-of-state universities over Illinois schools. This budget sends a message we want students here.
“This budget also makes our full pension payments and ensures our roads and bridges projects throughout the state will happen this upcoming fiscal year. The infrastructure needs for Illinois are plenty. Improving our roads and bridges will create jobs, help our businesses, and make travel safer for everyone.
“It’s also long overdue that state workers who are owed back pay – currently the state’s oldest unpaid bill – will finally receive what they are rightfully owed in this budget.”
Fiscal Year 2019 begins July 1.
The budget passed by the Senate cuts more than $1 billion in spending; delivers $350 million more in K-12 school funding through the evidence-based model; boosts early childhood education by $50 million; cuts $445 million in pension liability through a voluntary pension buy out and capping end-of-career salary increases that cause pension spiking; and rejects a proposed pay increase for lawmakers.
This budget also includes needed capital:
- Fully-funds the Governor’s Fiscal Year 2019 capital program.
- Includes $2.5 billion for IDOT’s road program, which will create jobs and improve roads.
- Provides $500 million for the University of Illinois Discovery Partners’ Institute (DPI).
- Includes $53 million for first-year costs to construct a new Quincy Veterans Home.
- Allocates $600 million for statewide deferred maintenance, with $100 million of this amount going toward needs at institutions of Higher Education.
- Provides $1 million to start a port redevelopment effort in Cairo.
A supplemental spending bill for Fiscal Year 2018 will also fund agency operations, including $405 million for the Department of Corrections. It also includes $63 million for AFSCME back pay.