Illinois lawmakers gave final approval Thursday to a plan to plug a $1.6 billion hole in the current state budget.
The Illinois Senate voted 32-26 to approve the plan and send it to Gov. Bruce Rauner for his signature.The Republican governor signed the measure Thursday afternoon.
All 20 Republican senators voted in favor of the pair of bills. Just 12 of the 39 Senate Democrats supported it. After the vote, Rauner went through the Senate chamber thanking those senators who voted for the plan.
The plan gives Rauner authority to take $1.3 billion from special state funds and use it to plug a major part of the shortfall in the current budget. The remainder comes from 2.25 percent cuts to most state programs, including education. The education cuts are somewhat mitigated by a $97 million pool of money that can be allocated by the Illinois State Board of Education to school districts suffering severe financial problems because of the cuts.
More from the State Journal-Register
UPDATE: The Illinois House on Tuesday approved a plan aimed at plugging a $1.6 billion hole in the current budget that threatens subsidized day care programs and paychecks for prison guards.
Under a bill that passed the House 69-48, about $1.3 billion would be taken from funds earmarked for special purposes such as road construction. The remaining shortfall would be dealt with by cutting 2.25 percent from most areas of state government — including an estimated $150 million from schools. Health care and pensions would not be cut.
It is expected that the state senate will take up the measure on Wednesday.
Proposals being debated in Springfield right now would cut $150 million from K-12 public education during the current school year.
Cutting $150 million equates to the cutting of three teachers in every district for the entire school year.