SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Andy Manar expressed optimism regarding the Fiscal Year 2019 budget passed tonight by the Illinois Senate.

“This is a responsible, disciplined plan that reflects the priorities of the people in my Senate district and throughout Illinois. It is a budget that allows us to continue restoring fiscal stability to state government while addressing immediate needs,” said Manar, who presented the legislation to the Senate Wednesday night.

“This budget was a bipartisan effort that was not contentious. When people come to the table, even in a partisan environment, compromise can be achieved and good things can happen.”

Manar, a Bunker Hill Democrat and chairman of the Senate Appropriations II Committee, is one of the Senate’s budget negotiators. He noted the following points about the proposal, which passed with overwhelming support from both Democrats and Republicans:

  • It’s balanced.
  • It devotes $350 million more for K-12 public schools as required by the new school evidence-based school funding model. Every school will receive as much money as they received last year.
  • It contains $10 million for critical access care pharmacy payments to help independent pharmacies in rural communities that are struggling because of the state’s Medicaid managed care rollout and because of pharmacy benefit managers.
  • It restores funding that local mayors and village presidents lost when the Rauner administration cut it last year.
  • Funding to help install broadband internet at rural school districts is appropriated in this budget, which would enable the state to leverage a 3-to-1 federal funding match.
  • It establishes an innovative new college grant program called AIM HIGH to incentivize Illinois students to attend state universities, support local economies and help middle-class students afford a college degree.

Furthermore, Manar noted, the budget continues to fund health insurance for retired teachers and community college employees, and it fully funds the state’s group health insurance program. Both were targeted for cuts under Gov. Rauner’s budget proposal earlier this year.

The budget also rejects the pension cost shift that Gov. Rauner proposed for local governments, which would have assured local property tax increases in many communities and school districts.

“This budget proposal is a tremendous step forward because it sets priorities not just for one party or for one part of the state,” Manar said. “This budget is good for all of Illinois.”

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Springfield Office:
119A Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: (217) 782-0228

Decatur Office:
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