MACOMB – On Thursday, Rep. Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) supported passage of SB 2047, a plan that will provide 6 months of funding for critical operations for higher education, state operated facilities including prisons and veterans’ homes, fuel for State Police to patrol our roads, and other core state programs and a full year of funding for elementary and secondary education and road construction.
“This plan is the product of much hard work from rank and file legislators and negotiations between the Governor and legislative leaders,” said Rep. Hammond. “While not a full year budget, this stopgap bill is designed to keep government operating, keep our schools, state universities, community colleges, and prisons open and operating and provide a bridge toward working on a full year balanced budget.”
The funding for FY 17 includes a record high level of funding for elementary and secondary education, an additional $1.0 billion in funding for higher education (on top of $600 million already approved earlier this year), funding for state operations, over $700 million in funding for human services, capital funding to allow road and bridge improvement projects to continue, payment of lottery prizes, and local government distributions. Western Illinois University will receive over $31 million in operating funds as well over $5 million dollars in additional funding to MAP Grant recipients attending WIU during the spring 2016 semester under this legislation.
“I have said all along, bridge funding is not ideal. However, in this circumstance, bridge funding would provide the most responsible course of action in order to be certain our schools and universities open on time, seniors receive the services needed and the services for our most vulnerable can be provided,” Rep. Hammond continued.
Rep. Hammond went on to highlight the education funding component of the legislation by explaining, “this proposal will further end the unfair practice of proration and provides full funding of the foundation level for the first time in nearly a decade.”