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Budget address and other legislative highlights

by Beth Camplain | Feb 21, 2020
Legislative update for the week of 2/17/2020

Legislative update for the week of 2/17/2020

Governor delivers budget address

Governor JB Pritzker delivered his second state Budget Address Wednesday. His proposed budget outlined increases for education, including higher education, but made clear that some of those investments are only possible if voters approve the Fair Tax ballot measure in November 2020.

>>> IFT responds to the State of the State Budget Address

REVENUES
  • Base General Funds revenues are estimated to total $40.7 billion, a $656 million, or 1.6%, increase from FY2020 revised base estimates.
  • Revenues from adult-use cannabis are expected to generate $46 million for transfer to the General Funds in FY2021.
  • An additional $1.435 billion is forecast to be deposited into the General Funds if income tax rates under PA 101-0008 go into effect on January 1, 2021.

EDUCATION
The budget proposes to increase funding for both K-12 education and higher education, including:

  • $350 million increase for the evidence-based funding formula
  • $50 million increase for the Early Childhood Block Grant
  • $16.5 million for teacher recruitment and retention programs
  • $2 million for a new Student Care Division at ISBE that is anticipated to support schools and educators as they approach isolation/seclusion work as well as supporting LGBTQ+ students.
  • $43 million, or level funding, for Career and Technical Education
  • 5 percent increase for universities and community colleges
  • $50 million increase for Monetary Assistant Programs (MAP) grants with a 15% set aside for community college students

PENSIONS
Under the budget proposal the Governor recommends making the full pension payment of over $8 billion. 

RETIREE HEALTH INSURANCE
The governor proposes an additional contribution to the College Insurance Program of $38 million.  The plan covers retirees from community colleges and has been experiencing severe financial distress for several years. In order to fund this contribution, the appropriation to the Teachers Retirement Insurance Program is reduced based upon a projection of a surplus in the fund. IFT is closely monitoring this proposal and will be discussing the plan in the days ahead.    

NEXT STEPS
The Illinois Constitution requires the governor to propose an annual balanced budget. However, the General Assembly is charged with approving an appropriations bill that is sent to the governor for his consideration. The governor’s budget plan is the starting point for budget discussions. And both the House and Senate have appropriations committees that will hold hearings, draft budget bills, and send budget bills to their respective chambers for a vote. By the end of May, a bill (or bills) will be agreed upon by legislators and approved prior to the May 31 adjournment deadline.


Additional highlights from this week include:

House Elementary and Secondary Education: Curriculum and Policies Committee
HB 3928
(Rep. Joyce Mason, D-Gurnee) requires that the use of e-cigarettes and other vaping devices be included in school health programs. This initiative passed in committee with unanimous bi-partisan support.

HB 4007 (Rep. Maurice West, D-Rockford) requires that sex education course material and instruction in grades 6 through 12 must include an age-appropriate discussion on sexting. Passed in committee with unanimous bi-partisan support.

Senate Public Health
SB 3109
(Sen. Hunter, D- Chicago) provides that on an annual basis the Department of Public Health, in coordination with local departments of public health, shall conduct specified lead testing at public school facilities.

Senate High Education
SB 2937
(Sen. McConchie, R- Lake Zurich) provides that a guidance counselor may not intentionally solicit or accept any gift from any prohibited source. "Prohibited source" means any person who is employed by an institution of higher education or is an agent or spouse of or an immediate family member living with a person employed by an institution of higher education.

A look ahead
Both Senators and Representatives will be in Springfield for legislative session next week with committees scheduled Tuesday through Thursday. The Senate Appropriations II committee kicks off its first budget hearing Wednesday, hearing about the FY21 Budget request for University of Illinois, Eastern Illinois University, and Governor's State University.

Check Under the Dome for additional updates

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