Senate passes bipartisan budget legislation

SPRINGFIELD – Funding for local governments, lottery winners, and many much-needed health programs would be restored, under legislation passed Dec. 7 by the Senate, according to State Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Rockford).

“This is only a small component of the total budget, but it is an important step forward,” said Sen. Syverson. “This legislation will make sure our roads are plowed this winter, and shelters for domestic violence victims remain open.”

The result of bipartisan negotiations between lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner, Senate Bill 2039 appropriates funding to local governments, 911 call centers, lottery winners, Special Olympics, HIV/Aids Prevention, the state portion of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program, police and fire training, veterans’ homes, and other programs.

The majority of the bill appropriates funding that is not part of the General Revenue Fund (GRF), including motor fuel tax distributions that go to local governments for purposes including snow plowing and road repair. Most of the funding included in the bill comes from either federal sources or special state funds that are designed to fund specific programs. However, there are two line items that utilize GRF money, including $10 million to the Secretary of State to pay for electrical bills and maintenance at state buildings and $18 million to fund shelters for victims of domestic violence.

“Now we need to keep working to pass a balanced budget for the vast majority of state spending,” said Sen. Syverson. “We still have a long way to go, but this bill proves that it is possible when both sides are at the table in good faith.”

Passed by the Senate on Dec. 7 and by the House of Representatives on Dec. 2, Senate Bill 2039 now goes to Gov. Rauner, who has indicated his support for the legislation and is expected to sign it.

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