Hammond Votes For Bipartisan, Balanced Budget, Increased Funding For Higher Education

Springfield – State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) last night voted for Illinois’ Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) operating budget. Most importantly, the budget is balanced, pays down our state’s debt, and makes critical investments in higher education, local schools, and state services.

“The FY20 budget is a responsible compromise that makes critical investments in higher education, MAP grant funding, local schools and community services,” said Rep. Hammond. “I’m proud to say that this budget was truly balanced with no new taxes. It contains a $200 million surplus, makes our full pension payment, reduces our debt, and moves our state in the right direction. The budget is by no means perfect, but it provides fiscal stability to taxpayers, students, and Illinois families after years of uncertainty.”

The budget bill, SB 262, contains a $200 million surplus, which will be dedicated towards paying down the unpaid bill backlog. The budget also includes $1.2 billion in new bonding which will be dedicated towards the bill backlog as well, reducing debt interest costs to taxpayers. Unlike the governor’s original budget proposal, this budget makes our state’s full pension payment. The budget also increases funding for the state’s long-term care program and increases funding for community care providers by $65 million.

The budget increases funding for higher education by 5% over the last fiscal year. It also increases funding for MAP grants by $50 million, for a total of $450 million this coming fiscal year. The AIM High college scholarship grant increases by $10 million, for a total of $35 million, this coming fiscal year. The budget also increases funding to K-12 education by $375 million, among other increases in education funding.

“Our work in Springfield is not yet done,” continued Hammond. “The bipartisan vote on the budget is a good-faith agreement among legislative leaders to consider job-creating reforms that our state desperately needs. I look forward to working with my colleagues to make sure our budget stays balanced, state finances are stabilized, and we enact job-creating reforms to grow our economy and small business.”

The FY20 balanced budget passed the Illinois House of Representatives late last night and Illinois Senate earlier this morning. The budget bill awaits the governor’s signature into law.