Senator Steans

May 24, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

Yesterday the Illinois Senate passed a budget plan that will provide the fiscal stability that our state so desperately needs. This plan balances Governor Rauner’s $37.3 billion budget, which was nearly $5 billion out of balance.

 

This budget plan includes appropriations for the rest of the current year as well as a complete budget for next year. It implements revenue reforms and spending reductions that result in more than $3 billion in savings without jeopardizing the future of our universities and schools nor the vital work that human services provide.

 

Senator Steans on the Senate floorBy passing this budget plan, we will end the practice of adding $11 million in unnecessary debt each day as has been the case during the impasse. Many elements of this budget are the result of ongoing negotiations with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle. In addition to budgetary matters, Senate Democrats have agreed to a number of reforms that Republicans sought during negotiations, including pension reform, term limits on Senate leadership and procurement reform.

 

Unlike previous iterations of budget plans, this one does not include cuts to state health insurance funding for retired teachers and community college workers who pay premiums for their insurance, nor does it give the governor unfettered authority to cut Medicaid to save $405 million.

 

This budget plan includes the following:

  • Increased funding to pre-K-12 education of $330 million, including support for Early Childhood and after-school programs.

  • A full year of funding to universities and community colleges for the first time since 2015. MAP grants will also be funded.

  • A full year of funding for vital human service programs that assist poor and vulnerable Illinoisans. This includes the Community Care Program, breast and cervical cancer screenings, addiction treatment, early intervention, domestic violence shelters, mental health programs and child care services.

  • Reinstates grant programs for immigrant services, autism support and youth employment, among others that were eliminated in Rauner's plan.

 

The revenue bill of this budget package includes just over $3 billion in cuts. Nearly all state programs and agencies will see a 5 percent cut. Additionally, this legislation brings in new revenue to the state by closing corporate tax loopholes to the tune of $125 million each year and eliminating state income tax breaks for individuals that make more than $250,000 a year for a savings of $81 million.

 

The plan now moves to the House for further consideration. If the House makes changes to the bills, they will need to be approved by the Senate.

 

Though we are not out of the woods yet, we are significantly closer. I will continue to advocate for responsible budgeting in the legislature to provide fiscal stability to the state of Illinois. I continue to believe that the best way to grow our economy is for the state to provide fiscal certainty.

 

As always, please do not hesitate to contact my office at 773-769-1717 or reach out online with any questions or concerns.

 

Sincerely,
Heather Steans
Senator Heather A. Steans
7th District – Illinois

 

 

District Office

5533 N. Broadway • Chicago, IL 60640

773-769-1717 (Phone) • 773-769-6901 (Fax)

 

Springfield Office

623 Capitol Building • Springfield, IL 62706

217-782-8492 (Phone)

 

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Contact Us

District Office
5533 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640
Office: 773-769-1717
Fax: 773-769-6901

Springfield Office
623 Capitol Building
301 S. Second St.
Springfield, IL 62706
Office: 217-782-8492