Senator Fowler supports balanced budget package, continues push for future reforms

Senate lawmakers have come together to pass a bipartisan, balanced budget for the State of Illinois on May 30, according to State Senator Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg).

“Budget negotiations have been ongoing for some time now and I’m excited that we were able to prioritize and balance our spending so that the people of this state can have a budget that provides for them without demanding more of their tax dollars,” said Senator Fowler. “After last year’s massive tax hike, we owed it to the people we represent to control our spending, recognize that out-of-balance budgets only hurt our residents and drive out businesses, and pass a budget balanced with no new taxes.”

The budget passed out of the Senate today directs an additional $350 million for the new K-12 Education evidence-based funding formula, adds a new merit-based scholarship program to help retain Illinois students and provides funding for the MAP Grant program at Fiscal Year 2018 levels.

“It’s encouraging to see that the General Assembly is keeping their promise to fully fund K-12 education, providing for students across the state,” said Sen. Fowler. “Something else I know many schools across my district will be glad to see is that this budget also adds $50 million in support for Early Childhood Education.”

In addition to funding for K-12, the proposed Fiscal Year 19 budget allocates $1 million in funding to help bring a river port to the city of Cairo.

“Bringing a port to Cairo will do so much to boost economic growth, encourage business development, and revitalize the area,” said Sen. Fowler. “The funding promised in this budget will be directed toward permitting and design costs, bringing this project one step closer to becoming reality for not only Cairo but for the entire 59 Senate District.”

Other items included in the bipartisan budget proposal include:

$4.3 million for Veteran’s grant reimbursements for all community colleges 
Funding for 100 additional cadets with the Illinois State Police
$2.5 billion for IDOT’s road program

“This isn’t a perfect budget, but it is a budget that turns away from the irresponsible spending habits of the past decade. Illinois’ credit rating, its growing bill backlog and our hardworking taxpayers cannot withstand another year without a budget,” said Sen. Fowler. “No one said passing a balanced budget would be easy and we still have work to do. However, this is a budget that I believe sets Illinois on a better path forward.” 

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