Assistant House Minority Leader Norine Hammond joined colleagues on both sides of the aisle, in both chambers, in voting YES on an FY 19 State Budget that is balanced and relies on “no new taxes”. XXX “When this process started, we pushed hard for three goals: a balanced budget, a full-year budget, and no tax increases,” said Rep. Hammond. “This budget funds many of our priorities and provides critical stability to State Government which suffered under a nearly two-year budget impasse in recent past.”
The FY 19 State Budget fully funds the new bipartisan K-12 education funding formula to local schools, funds the MAP grant program as well as providing a four-year commitment for MAP recipients, creates a new merit-based scholarship program to keep students in Illinois (a proposal that came out the Higher Education Working Group, on which Rep. Hammond served), provides a 2% operations funding increase for universities and community colleges (including Western Illinois University), and includes more than $400 million for the Department of Corrections unpaid vendor bills from FY 17 and FY 18.
“Last year, I crossed the aisle to end the gridlock and pass a state budget after a two-year budget impasse,” said Rep. Hammond. “This year, I was pleased to see the byproduct of the trust built last year was an agreed budget negotiation process that yielded a far more bipartisan rollcall. This budget provides the stability needed by so many of our stakeholders, as well as implementing programs that will help us keep our best and brightest in Illinois to grow our way out of this mess.”