(Photo Credit: The Associated Press)
We now have a temporary budget as the new fiscal year begins today. Governor Bruce Rauner signed a stopgap budget late Thursday that will keep the state government afloat for six months. Lawmakers have been negotiating the spending portion for weeks and it was approved by votes of 105-4 in the House and 54-0 in the Senate. The stopgap budget will provide help for state operations and social services as well. Governor Rauner warned lawmakers that this is not a balanced budget but it is a bridge to reform.
The budget totals $75 billion with $25 billion going towards the previous years expenses and the rest for the new year.This short-term solution will ensure that schools can open in the fall with $7.5 billion in general revenue being spent on schools and an added $250 million going towards high-poverty districts. Public universities, community colleges, and grants for lower income students will also receive $1 billion in additional funding. This plan will allow Chicago to increase property taxes which will help with unfunded liabilities in its teacher pension fund and the state will pay $215 million to pick up the employer’s share of city teachers’ pensions.