Getting your Evanston news from Facebook? Try the Evanston RoundTable’s free daily and weekend email newsletters – sign up now!

The following is a statement from State Representative Robyn Gabel regarding the stopgap budget passed on June 30:

Yesterday, the Illinois General Assembly passed and the Governor signed a stopgap budget that will fund Illinois for the next six months. While not a perfect resolution to the budget impasse, it does address our immediate needs.

This means our schools and universities will open in the fall, basic social services for seniors, children, and the most vulnerable people will continue, and that crucial infrastructure development, like building and repairing our roads and bridges, will not be halted for lack of funding. Here are the details:

The Budget

Some of the key items in the budget include:       

  •  K-12 Education
    • $361 million increase in General State Aid.
    • High poverty schools will receive Equity Grants. 
    • Funding for early childhood education was increased by $75 million.
  • Higher Education
    • $1 billion in funding for universities, community colleges, MAP Grants, adult education, career & technical education and Illinois Math & Science academy operations.
  • Human Services
    • Provides $667 million in funds for programs that are not currently operating under court orders.
    • Restores funding for programs that were suspended, such as immigration services, autism programs, Teen Reach and other youth programs.
  • Capital
    •  Funds IDOT and EPA projects that have been shut down.

We Can Do Better

As someone who has spent my whole career advocating for good healthcare, quality education, protecting our environment and creating job opportunities, I am relieved that the budget stalemate has ended. I compromised with my colleagues without compromising my values. But this is only a small first step. 

It is not nearly enough to push our budget problems back until after the election.  The citizens of Illinois deserve much more. They deserve balanced and fully funded budgets that are negotiated and passed on time. 

This bill represents an example of legislators working with the administration to reach a compromise for the good of Illinois. I hope that this sets a precedent for future budget negotiations so that we can begin moving Illinois forward. We cannot afford a repeat of the budget impasse of the last year.

My commitment to my neighbors in the 18th District is that I will always remain open to good faith negotiations with the Governor and all of my colleagues in the General Assembly.