The Illinois Senate passed a balanced budget for the next fiscal year that spends $255 million less than last year’s, fully funds the state’s pension obligations, and sets aside $1.3 billion to pay old bills. While making across-the-board cuts to most agency budgets, it avoids reductions to K-12 education, MAP grants, and other priorities. The budget uses extra money from special funds to pay vendors like childcare providers and nursing homes. The budget stays within caps established earlier this year based on the state’s expected revenue.

Statement from State Senator Linda Holmes (D-Aurora):

“Although this wasn’t an ideal budget, it puts us on a path toward fiscal certainty in our state. It spends less, pays down our backlog of bills, does the best it can to protect our most vital services, like education. Our plan makes some tough, albeit necessary, cuts to state programs while not taking any funds away from local government. It is a responsible plan that balances the state budget in a fair way.”