Nuggets From The Proposed Illinois State Budget

Jun 30, 2017

The budget measure, Senate Bill 6, voted on in the Illinois House Friday, while not yet the final word, outlines funding for all aspects of state government operations, goods, services, grants, projects and more.

Illinois Capitol
Credit Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

It includes more than $6.2 billion in funding to the State Board of Education for Evidence Based Funding - the school funding reform measure that the governor has yet to sign - along with millions more for specific educational programs and lump sum grants for individual projects. For example, Rockford Public Schools received $500,000 for the CICS Rockford Charter Patriots Center.

Students going beyond high school, their parents and  college officials will be interested to learn the budget allots $364,856,300 to the Monetary Assistance Grant Program, or MAP, grants that help lower-income students with college expenses.  Colleges have been floating many students by covering those grants during the budget impasse, with only partial reimbursement from the state coming from last year's stopgap budget.

Money was budgeted to state schools for operating expenses and more.  SB6 gives Northern Illinois University $42,799,700 for general operating expenses. It also allots a total of $16,000,000 for the renovation of the Stevens Building on the DeKalb campus, along with other capital projects.

Rock Valley College gets $11,000,000 for classroom expansion and other capital improvements. That's in addition to money distributed through the Illinois Community College Board to schools for operations and specific programs.

A number of areas were given money to distribute lump sum grants. Rockford Mass Transit was allotted $21,046,200.  Money was set aside for boards and other state entities, such as the Illinois Arts Council, which got $4,000,000 to help provide grants to local arts groups, programs and individuals.

More than $1.3 billion goes to pay the state's share of pension money for the State University Retirement System, while the State Employees Retirement System gets a little less than $1.2 billion.

The budget authorized distribution of money from a number of funding sources to a long list of programs, operations, road and other capital projects besides those mentioned here -- Child services, addiction programs, veterans hospitals, high-speed rail and prisons, to name a few.

If you want a detailed look at just what's funded in SB6, you can find all 650 pages here.