After thorough bipartisan negotiations and compromise, Governor Bruce Rauner signed the Fiscal Year 2019 budget into law on June 4. For the first time in years, Illinois has a budget that is not only balanced, but also makes over $1 billion in spending cuts and prioritizes funding for key state programs—without imposing any new taxes.
If managed properly, and the Governor and lawmakers follow through on the commitments made in the budget, it will remain balanced.
FY 19 Budget Highlights
Quincy Veteran’s Home
- $53 million for Quincy Veterans’ Home to repair the campus—funds its first-year improvements to completion
Investing in Schools
- Additional $350 million investment into K-12 education
- $50 million in support of early childhood education
- 2% increase in funding for higher education institutions—to reduce pressure to raise tuition
- Introduced a new, merit-based scholarship program, “AIM High,” funded by $25 million from the state and $25 million from universities to help keep students in-state
- $4.3 million for veteran grant reimbursements to apply to all Illinois community colleges, and continues to fund the MAP Grant Program for students with financial need
- Makes full pension payment
- Caps end-of-career salary increases to prevent unnecessary pension hikes
- Funds a voluntary pension Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) buyout, modeled after Missouri’s successful plan (Estimated savings of buyout: approx. $455 million)
- $2.5 billion into the Department of Transportation’s road program to make much-needed repairs to roads across the state
- Provides funding for State Police to hire 100 new police cadets to keep roadways and communities safer