In my continuing effort to keep you informed regarding developments affecting the residents of the 34th District, I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your continued support.
My mission as your State Representative is to improve the quality of life for the communities we serve. We continue to work collectively with the communities making up the 34th District in order to strengthen community and governmental relations as we continue to put our families and communities first.
The work I am doing in Springfield seeks to improve the quality of our schools, strengthening the middle class by creating good jobs, bringing fiscal discipline to Springfield, and passing common sense public safety initiatives to make our streets safer.
Again, thank you for entrusting me with this great responsibility, and supporting the work that we do here in the 34th District.
On June 30, 2016, the Illinois General Assembly passed and the governor signed into law, SB 2047, the stopgap budget plan. While NOT a budget, this stopgap plan is a good first step towards a full budget. The stopgap plan ensures our schools will open on time, vital social services and other state services are funded through the end of the calendar year. The details of the plan are as follows:
Elementary and Secondary Education
Education funding is provided for all of Fiscal Year 2017
General State Aid increased by $361 million
$250 million provided to high poverty schools
Early childhood education funding increased by $75 million
$1 billion in funding for state universities, community colleges, MAP grants, adult education, career and technical education, and the Illinois Math and Science Academy.
Funding provides for the remainder of FY 2016 and beginning of FY 2017
Provides $667 million in funding for programs not currently operating under court order.
Funds programs currently suspended, including autism programs, breast cancer screenings, in-home healthcare for seniors and services for victims of domestic violence
Funding for projects in IDoT's 5 year plan, EPA projects and other projects suspended mid-construction
Additionally, two pieces of legislation were passed to address the serious fiscal challenges facing Chicago Public Schools.
Dedicated funding for Chicago Teacher Pensions (SB 318)
The bill authorizes a dedicated stream of revenue to address and fund Chicago Teacher pensions
The bill also allows the Chicago Board of Education to levy taxes above the tax cap limit to address funding shortfalls