Senator Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) released the following statement regarding his vote to ensure Illinois schools open on time in the fall, to provide long-overdue money to struggling human service providers and to protect jobs throughout the state:
“This is not a full budget, but it’s a step in the right direction as we try to halt the disintegration of important Illinois institutions, including schools, universities and human service programs, as well as the jobs that go along with each of them.
“Human service providers, in particular, have suffered beyond reason as the state budget stalemate dragged on, and I am pleased that some help may be on its way to them very soon.
“This partial budget deal, which was struck after weeks of negotiations, is a welcome sign that lawmakers of both parties and representatives of the governor’s office can sit down and come to agreement on a budget. It is evidence that it’s easier to work out a deal when the people at the table are able to tune out the political distractions that can get in the way.
“It is also a far cry from what everyone agrees Illinois ultimately needs, which is a balanced budget that funds our priorities. I hope that we can build on today’s progress to move in that direction as quickly as possible.”
Measures approved by the Illinois Legislature on Thursday would provide state funding for human services, K-12 public schools, universities and community colleges, early childhood education and afterschool programs, state road construction projects, various statewide capital projects and more.
Additional measures would use a mix of state and local resources to provide much-needed support to the Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund.
The package of legislation now goes to Gov. Bruce Rauner to be signed into law.