Stopgap State Budget Puts Illinois in the Clear for Now

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Schools will open in the fall, social service agencies will continue to operate, and roadwork can continue after the stopgap measure was passed yesterday.

But legislators tell me there’s still more work to do.

Illinois political leaders came to an agreement on a budget to keep the state  operating for the next six months.

“The agreement basically allows the government to keep operating for the next six months,” said Senator Steve Stadelman. “And as importantly, make sure that schools are able to open in august. It provides the incorporation for government to continue to operate.”

Governor Rauner signed the temporary deal to not only ensure schools stay open for a year, but it also secures funding for social service agencies and a variety of other federally funded budget issues.

“The most important piece for me was the human services allocations,” said Representative Litesa Wallace. “It will allow for the restoration of some services.”

And although both sides agree it’s a fair budget, it’s not without its limitations.

“It’s the best of a bad situation,” said Senator Dave Syverson. “Unfortunately, we’re still spending at a rate more than revenue coming in.”

Although it has its challenges, they’re hoping this will lead them to a concrete agreement.

“The reality is we need a permanent resolution, not a stopgap measure,” said Stadelman. “But this bides us some time until after the November election, and hopefully we can get together, continue to process trying to find a middle ground, and compromise to come to a more permanent resolution.”

The only way the state has been able to continue to scrape by for the past year is that 90 percent of government is being funded through court orders or continuing appropriations.

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