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Governor approves cuts to FY 15 education funding

3/26/2015
The Illinois Senate passed the two bills relating to the state's financial hole and Governor Rauner has signed them into law.

Thursday afternoon, the Senate approved HB 317 and HB 318, measures that permit special fund raids (“sweeps”) and immediately cut current year funding to K-12 and higher education to close the $1.6 billion gap for FY 15. The House hurriedly approved both bills on Tuesday, so the bills headed straight to the Governor desk and were signed the same day.

If Governor Rauner had renewed the temporary income tax increase on January 1 instead of calling for draconian cuts to services middle class families depend on, this crisis could have been avoided.

Instead, school districts, higher education institutions, and important state programs that have already been cut to the bone must now quickly determine how to address a 2.25% reduction of state revenue for the remainder of this fiscal year, which ends June 30. The legislation does give the Governor $97 million in additional funding to share with school districts determined to be in extreme hardship, and another $90 million in funds to manage state agency operations.

The IFT Department of Political Activities is analyzing the impact these 11th hours cuts will have on districts and programs which have already budgeted for the remainder of the year based on promised funding, and our staff will be prepared to work with locals and councils to address issues that may result from the loss of expected revenue.

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