Hays Votes for Full School Funding in FY17 and Six-Month Bridge Budget for Other State Services

In the final hours of Fiscal Year 2016 on Thursday, Democrat and Republican lawmakers came together 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. State Representative Chad Hays (R-Catlin) joined the bipartisan coalition of lawmakers in approving the budget and stopgap package.

“Today’s action ensures that every Illinois school will open on time in the fall and will be funded at 100% of the foundation level for the first time in seven years,” said Hays. “It also sends vital funds to our colleges, community colleges and universities, to our prisons and human/social service agencies, and ensures that important road project work will continue this summer and fall uninterrupted.”

SB 2047, approved in a 105-4-1 vote, includes:
  • The largest 12-month allocation toward K-12 education in Illinois history
  • Six-month bridge funding
    • $1 billion for higher education, including Monetary Assistance Program grants (on top of the $600 million already approved for higher education 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
“From day one I have advocated for a responsible compromise,” said Hays. “This package has elements I like and elements I do not like. But as is the case with any good negotiation, we will all walk away with some, but not all, of what we were hoping to see. This is what real compromise looks like.”

According to Hays, the budget and reform working groups will continue to meet as they work toward a balanced full-year budget with reforms.