Feigenholtz celebrates investments in signed FY 24 budget

CHICAGO – State Senator Sara Feigenholtz applauded the Fiscal Year 2024 budget, noting how it continues to put the state on a path toward fiscal responsibility while investing in education from preschool to college.

“This is a budget that restores faith in our state’s education system, provides support for students and empowers communities across the state,” said Feigenholtz (D-Chicago). “For the fifth year in a row we have paid down our bills, made robust investments, continued to make additional pension payment contributions and even put money in our Rainy Day fund to help move Illinois’ economy forward.”

The budget puts a total of $250 million toward a new initiative – SMART Start Illinois – a multi-year program to provide investments in preparing children to be lifelong learners. It also continues the General Assembly’s commitment of $350 million to K-12 education and includes additional MAP grant funding to ensure everyone at or below the median income level can attend community college free.

To address staffing shortages and safety concerns at DCFS, the budget includes funding to hire nearly 200 new staff to support DCFS caseloads and focuses on protecting workers through partnerships with local law enforcement. Additional funding for scholarships will allow more youth and former youth in care at DCFS to attend a public university in Illinois.

Further, the budget makes additional pension contributions and continues progress by paying off $450 million in rail-splitter bond debt – saving the state millions in interest and virtually eliminating all short- and medium-term debt.

The legislation also provides $18 million to support Illinois’ reproductive health access goals and expand provider training while establishing a centralized resource hotline for those seeking abortion services. Additional investments in workforce development programs, attracting new companies and revitalizing commercial corridors will enhance the state’s business environment and help build a diverse and skilled workforce.

The FY24 budget was signed Wednesday and will take effect July 1, 2023.