Senator Steans

June 1, 2017

Dear Friends,

 

I am incredibly disappointed and frustrated that I cannot begin this email with the announcement that the legislature sent a balanced budget to the governor last night. Despite the fact that the Senate passed a complete and balanced budget with spending reductions and revenue reform, the House did not approve our plan. And the governor certainly didn't help, with his constantly shifting demands and veto threats.

 

We now enter the 701st day without a full budget. Our state and institutions are suffering while efforts to repair what has been broken have not been taken up.

 

Senator Steans on the Senate floorThe balanced budget that the Senate passed last week is the result of months of discussion and compromise. The Senate budget plan includes spending at the level the governor proposed as well as a number of measures and reforms that were negotiated with Senate Republicans.

 

Our budget plan would provide the fiscal stability and certainty that our state needs. It provides increased funding for P-12 education and ensures that schools would open on time. It provides our institutions of higher education with a full-year budget for the first time in two years and fully funds MAP grants. The Senate Democrats’ budget supports vital social service programs, such as the Community Care Program, domestic violence shelters, and breast and cervical cancer screenings.


Senate Democrats' balanced budget versus the governor's budgetThe Senate Democrats’ budget reduced government spending by $3 billion and implemented revenue reform to ensure that our state moves forward in a fiscally responsible manner. It included a 5% cut to most state agencies and programs, $1.25 billion in savings due to pension reform legislation, $70 million in savings from procurement reform, and other spending reductions. Our budget and revenue package is balanced, unlike the Governor’s plan, which is $5 billion out of balance.

 

In addition to our efforts on the budget, the Senate also passed a number of reforms that were top priorities for the Governor. This year, we implemented term limits on Senate leadership. We passed bipartisan procurement reform to help save universities and state agencies money. We passed pension reform and we approved legislation to allow counties to dissolve duplicative units of local government. We passed a two-year property tax freeze to provide some relief to home owners.

 

My colleagues in the Senate have gone back to the negotiating table numerous times and have debated multiple spending plans. Many of these discussions were genuine and moved us closer to agreement. At this point, though, we are past the point of discussion. It is time for action.

 

Though the legislative session ended yesterday, there are still 30 days until the end of the fiscal year. The legislature can still pass a budget, but it will require a three-fifths majority. This means that it will need support from both parties. Time is running out, but I will do everything in my power to right the ship and set Illinois on a path toward fiscal stability.

 

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 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