Governor Rauner signs FY19 budget into law

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information provided by the Office of Governor Rauner

CHICAGO, Ill. (June 4, 2018) – Governor Bruce Rauner today signed into law a $38.5 billion bipartisan compromise budget that increases funding for education, curbs spending, and creates a new adoption tax credit that will make it less costly for Illinois parents to adopt children.

“For the first time in years, we have an opportunity to manage our way into balance, and we don’t have to dip into the pockets of overtaxed Illinoisans to do it,” Rauner said. “Balance is in reach because we were able to accomplish $445 million of pension reform, and the economy is stronger thanks to federal tax reform, and we are benefiting from an unexpected boost in tax receipts.”

“I’m signing this legislation because it is a step in the right direction, but it is not perfect,” he said. “We have a lot of work to do before we fully restore the state’s fiscal integrity. We still need to enact reforms that bring down the cost of government, make the state friendlier to job creators, and ignite our state economy so it grows faster than government spending.”

The bulk of the FY19 plan was laid out months ago when the Governor gave his budget address to the General Assembly on Valentine’s Day. It was there that he framed his chief goals for the upcoming fiscal year: spending within our means, and no new taxes.

The General Assembly adopted many of the Governor’s key agenda items. He listed some of them during a press conference attended by legislative leaders, sponsors and budget negotiators:

  • Blocked New Spending. Rauner and the Republican leaders aggressively managed agency budgets and tabled $500 million in spending increase proposals.
  • Education Funding. The budget fully funds the new evidence-based formula the administration introduced in 2015 and signed into law last summer. There’s $350 million in new K-12 dollars, which is up $1.4 billion since 2015, and $50 million for Early Childhood Education, which is up $200 million since 2015. AIM HIGH scholarships get $50 million to encourage Illinois high school grads to attend Illinois universities. The MAP grant program is funded for four years. Colleges get $25 million of new money and the tuition tax credit program stays intact.
  • Pension Reform. The legislature addressed pension costs by making some modest reforms that will reduce long-term liabilities and save $445 million this year.
  • Adoption Tax Credit. Parents who can provide stable, loving homes for needy children can qualify for tax credits up to $5000 per child.
  • Illinois Innovation Network. The budget gives the University of Illinois System $500 million to fund the Governor’s signature economic development program. U of I System estimates that the effort could spark $4 billion in annual invested capital for Illinois and create hundreds of thousands of jobs.
  • Quincy Veterans Home. There is $53 million in the FY19 budget to construct a new veteran’s home in Quincy.

Rauner said the budget would require aggressive bipartisan management to achieve balance. “Our office and the General Assembly have to monitor revenues closely, so we can manage spending, and they can manage appropriations,” he said. “That is key to bringing this budget into true balance.”

“The compromise comes up short on key reforms,” he said. “Pensions, the bill back log, and property taxes loom large despite what good we may have done today. We have to find ways to address them or the state’s fiscal situation will continue to deteriorate.”

“It feels good to pass this budget,” said Sen. Elgie R. Sims Jr. (D-Chicago), a Senate budget negotiator. “I’m glad my colleagues and I were able to work together in a bipartisan manner to craft a balanced spending plan. This budget will help put Illinois on the road to fiscal stability and make a difference in the lives of the people of the 17th Senate District and across the state of Illinois.”