By a vote of 32-26, the Illinois Senate passed a bill on Thursday that will provide short-term funding in areas such as daycare assistance for low-income parents (also known as the Child Care Assistance Program), court reporter pay and prison staffing, according to a March 26 report by the Chicago Tribune. The measure, which was sponsored by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, passed the Illinois House by a vote of 68 to 49 on Tuesday, March 24.
The money will be enough to fund these programs until the end of the budget year on June 30, after which point the state will need to find a way to address an estimated $7 billion budget shortfall. Last year, Illinois Democrats passed a budget last year that did not provide enough money to fund the state’s programs for the year.
“The deal frees up $226 million for a subsidized child care program, $117 million to meet payroll at Illinois prisons and $27 million for mental health service grants,” the Tribune notes. “It raids $350 million from funds for road construction, a diversion that Rauner and fellow Republicans have opposed in the past.”
“Under the plan sponsored by Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan, approximately $1.3 billion would be taken from balances in special funds designated for uses such as road construction or fire prevention,” according to a March 24 Tribune report.
“Another $300 million would come from cutting spending by 2.25 percent in most other areas of state government for the last three months of the current budget year. While pension payments and health care for the poor are largely protected, schools stand to lose an estimated $150 million through the end of June,” the report states.
“I voted against the 2.25% across the board cuts, but I voted to sweep funds to fund child care,” said state Rep. Rep. LaShawn Ford (8th).
This article has been updated to correct a misrepresentation about the votes of local lawmakers on this bill. More detailed information is forthcoming.