After two long years without a budget, both the state House and Senate voted to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto to finally pass an Illinois budget last week.
As with many major political decisions, this one is coming with mixed reactions from citizens in Illinois, but overall, the ending of the budget impasse should be a considered a step in the right direction for the state.
One of the most important benefits to come from the new budget will be compensation for our public schools.
With the lack of budget, state schools including the SIU system have been suffering. The problem even went as far as SIU Carbondale borrowing money from SIUE to stay afloat.
The budget has been one of the most talked-about topics within the administration of the schools, and it seems that our problems have been solved thanks to the new budget.
According to the office of Senator Bill Haine (D-Alton), the SIU System is appropriated $179.6 million. Although this funding is going to be a breath of fresh air in our school, the university needs to be certain it continues to properly allocate this money to ensure it is being used wisely.
While the budget may be good news for state schools, some Illinois citizens are upset to see that the budget will be covered by an income tax hike.
The tax increase was the reason Rauner vetoed the budget, and he has been very outspoken about how he does not think the state will benefit from it.
“This is a two-by-four smacked across the foreheads of the people of Illinois,” Rauner said. “This tax hike will solve none of our problems and in fact, [in the] long run, it’ll just make our problems worse.”
Thankfully, other state lawmakers understood that something needed to be done. Before the budget passed, Illinois was in horrible shape. The impasse was one of the longest in any state since the Great Depression, the state had about $15 billion in unpaid bills and it was on pace to be the first state with a junk credit rating.
We’re glad the state finally came together and figured out a plan. After two years of lacking one, it will certainly be good news for our schools and other state-funded organizations and programs over the next fiscal year.
Even though the impasse may be over, we need to continue discussing these political decisions with our peers. Make your voice heard if you have strong political opinions. Get out there.
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July 11, 2017 at 07:07PM