While Illinois residents wait to hear what Gov. Rauner will propose during his first budget address on Feb. 18, the state’s chief executive says he’s confident schools and other critical programs can be fully funded.
During his State of the State address, Rauner told lawmakers he wants to increase funding for early childhood and K-12 education. The current budget, passed by Democrat lawmakers and signed by former Gov. Pat Quinn, currently “prorates” funding for schools, meaning they only receive 89 percent of the funding they are supposed to receive from the state.
The Governor recently outlined his budget expectations to a group of students at a Springfield High School, saying he is hopeful lawmakers will give him the authority to move money around in the budget to help fund areas that are reaching a breaking point, including daycare programs and the prison system.
Money for court reporters reaching a breaking point
Besides immediate budget concerns for prisons and daycare programs, Illinois could soon run out of money for the state’s court reporters. The Rauner Administration said the state program faces a more than $14 million budget gap, and funds will be exhausted by the end of March. The Rauner Administration says they are working with lawmakers right now to identify a solution to these revenue shortfalls.
Many state programs are running short of money prematurely, due to the Democrat leaders passing a budget that failed to account for the January 2015 phase-out of their 2011 tax hike. This was exacerbated by former Gov. Quinn, who failed to scale back spending during the first half of the budget year. Now, Gov. Rauner and the Legislature are tasked with addressing the budget problems aggravated by former Gov. Quinn’s lack of spending control.