Local lawmakers, educators praise stopgap budget

Lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner reached a deal to fund Illinois schools for a year and keep government operating for six months.

The stopgap budget includes $667 million for human service agencies, appropriations for IDOT projects and $1 billion for higher education including MAP grants.

The measure increases funding for elementary and secondary schools by $500 million and funds K-12 at the foundation level of $6,119 per student, something that hasn’t been done since 2009.

State Rep. Don Moffitt tells Galesburg’s Evening News on WGIL the deal was a result of “bipartisan compromise” and Rauner and Speaker Michael Madigan giving a little.

“They both deserve credit for being willing to compromise some and that’s the way government works. There’s a big difference of opinion, you get some compromise to work toward common ground and that’s what happened just in the last week or so,” Moffitt says.

He says he favors a “one-year budget” but says in some respects it takes pressure off further negotiations heading into the November elections.

District 205 Superintendent Ralph Grimm tells WGIL from preparing to talk to the school board about preparations for “doomsday” to Thursday’s development has been a “tremendous turnaround.”

“We’ll be able to start school on time, we’ll be able to guarantee a full year of school, our seniors will graduate,” Grimm says. “And that’s how it should be.”

Grimm is unsure of how much the district stands to receive in General State Aid but says that since 2009 when funding began being prorated, 205 has lost out on $7.6 million in promised money.

Tags: , , ,