Illinois Programs Looking At Tough Cuts As Budget Talks Get Heated

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (IRN) – You have to wonder how it is going to end well once the new budget is together for Illinois’ fiscal year that begins July 1. Lawmakers who sit on appropriations committees are not seeing eye-to-eye with the administration.

“Your proposed budget is $7.6 billion,” State Rep. Will Davis (D-Homewood) told the Illinois State Board of Education’s chief financial officer, “and I’m told we are working with a dollar figure of 6.8.”

Part of Gov. Pat Quinn’s budget solution for elementary and secondary education – making school districts pay more of their share of transportation – is a loser to education advocate Erika Lindley, who points out other Midwestern states have much looser requirements than does Illinois, which mandates that local districts provide transportation for students who live 1.5 miles or more from school.

Things grew contentious in another committee, as State Sen. Matt Murphy (R-Palatine) criticized Quinn and Healthcare and Family Services director Julie Hamos for relying on more borrowing – which lawmakers do not want – to catch up on Medicaid bills.

The General Assembly is off next week and returns for not quite six more weeks of session.

Copyright Illinois Radio Network

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