Senate Week in Review: June 4-8

State Sen. Dale Fowler joined a number of his Senate and House colleagues at the official signing of the $38.5 billion bipartisan budget package on June 4, officially setting forth a balanced spending plan for the upcoming 2019 Fiscal Year.

“This budget provides for our schools, helps with ongoing economic development in the region, and ensures we aren’t adding to the burdens already placed on our taxpayers,” said Sen. Fowler.

Included in the compromise budget was an additional $350 million for the new K-12 education evidence-based funding formula, directing critical financial support to schools across Illinois, and reducing reliance on local property taxes. The ongoing river port terminal project in Cairo was also included in the budget proposal, with $1 million dollars being directed toward permitting and design costs for the port initiative.

The budget also effectively reduces and eliminates a number of Democrat-backed bills that would have caused state spending to spike by more than $500 million each year.

“Irresponsible spending has been one of our biggest challenges with our past budgets,” said Sen. Fowler. “This budget acknowledges that we have to control our spending, live within our means and continue to work for the critical reforms needed to give Illinois a better future.”

In other news, a $241 million investment in freight mobility was recently announced, with 23 projects across the state set to receive federal-financed grant dollars to help improve mobility of freight throughout Illinois to spur long-term congestion relief, improve safety and boost commerce.

Many of the projects specifically work to reduce bottleneck congestion and improve intermodal connections so that freight activity will be safer, and goods and services will move more efficiently throughout the state.

In the 59th District, Benton and West Frankfort both received funding for upcoming projects. The Trail of Tears Rest Area also received funding from the program.

The federal funds secured through the Illinois Department of Transportation’s Competitive Freight Program were awarded to local, state and federal agencies, as well as private entities.

With spring legislative officially concluded, Sen. Fowler returned to the district to attend the 2018 Law Enforcement Gala in Marion. The event celebrated the Williamson County Fraternal Order of Police and their ongoing work within the community.

Sen. Fowler also joined the City of Metropolis for the kickoff to the 40th annual Superman Festival. The four-day celebration brings in people from all over, travelling to Metropolis for the annual celebration taking place in the “Home of Superman.”

Also during the week, Sen. Fowler attended the Massac County Commissioners meeting to provide an update from Springfield on recent legislative activity. The members also gave Sen. Fowler information on ongoing economic development throughout the county.

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