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.

More from the Chicago Tribune


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.


  1. I have worked in the local school district for 22 years . In those 22years I have seen more emphasis put on testing the student for what they have learned then teaching time. Some teachers spend more time teaching the students information so they do well on the test. The teachers have gotten bogged down with always having to gather data for everything. Let's let them get back to teaching the students and have the teachers enjoy their profession. Cutting the educational fund to plug up other budget holes is hugely unfair to the education professionals.

    • c'mon, Christine. Testing takes up what, one of two days per year? You spend more than that giving tests and quizzes in a single month. Only poor teachers "teach to the test". Good teachers teach the subject well enough that high scores are REFLECTION of the good instruction they've received.

  2. I am a seasoned teacher of 20 years. I am also one of the select teachers whom have a chied National Board Certification. I work on average 12-14 hour days at school Monday-Friday and spend a large portion of my weekends running school related errands, writting lessons, writing and researching grants etc. I truly thought I had the best job in the world, until teacher bashing, union bashing, increased high stakes testing, and push for school privatization became,"in style". The general working conditions of what teachers have to face in public scrutiny nowadays has me wanting to leave the profession altogether. If teachers hate school students feelings will follow. STOP the cuts and bring fun and joy back to school!

    • I, too, am a seasoned teacher of 17 years. I totally agree-lets bring back the fun and stop the cuts. Find another solution to fund our schools.

Comments are closed.