Rep. Unes: House Approves Balanced Bipartisan Budget

Rep. Unes discussing the balanced budget with Denise Jackson from News 25

The Illinois House of Representatives approved Illinois’ Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19) state budget today, pending the Governor’s signature, the bipartisan budget will take effect on July 1.

“I’m proud to report the House approved a balanced, bipartisan state budget,” said Rep. Unes. “The momentum from the passage of last year’s budget, which led to historic school funding reform, facilitated the continuation of the bipartisan process for this year’s balanced budget. This is the common sense process that I have been advocating for a long time. With the passage of this year’s FY 2019 budget, we will begin the new fiscal year with a full 12 month budget for the first time since calendar year 2014.”

The FY19 budget appropriates $38.502 billion, with Illinois’ revenue estimated at $38.520 billion.

Some of the highlights of the bipartisan budget supported by Rep. Unes include:

-Fully funding K-12 education with an additional $350 million for the evidence based model passed last year.
-$50 million increase for Early Childhood Education.
-Fully funds MAP grants for college students.
-2% increase in funding for Higher Education.
-Creates a merit-based scholarship program to help encourage our children to stay in Illinois to obtain their higher education.

Human Services
-Funds Long Term Care applications that have not been paid for years.
-Funds critical programs for senior citizens and our most vulnerable.
-Funds critical programs for the developmentally disabled.

-$11.4 billion for the Illinois Department of Transportation and it’s Road Program to fund needed improvements to roads and bridges.

-Fully funds annual pension debt payments, including pension reform savings without a pension cost shift.
-Lowers the long term unfunded pension liability.
-Includes pension reform and reduces the unfunded pension liability by $445 million.

Rep. Unes added, “This balanced budget helps our Veterans, funds much needed repairs to our state’s roads and bridges, strengthens our public safety and provides services to our senior citizens and most vulnerable. With that said, I urge the Governor to sign this budget into law as soon as possible.”