As the fiscal year came to a close, the General Assembly passed Senate Bill 2047, a bi-partisan education funding bill and stop-gap budget agreement.

Senate Bill 2047 provides $75 million in funding for early childhood education, and a statewide equity grant for the poorest school districts.  In doing so, the bill prioritizes education funding and represents a historic investment in education by funding schools at 100% foundation level for the first time in seven years. 

Specifically, the stopgap funding plan provides $1 billion to higher education, in addition to the already allocated $600 million for FY16, and also includes $151 million for MAP grants.  The bi-partisan compromise also provides $742 million in critically-needed funding for human service providers.  The plan also made state infrastructure a priority by funding $3.4 billion to the pay-as-you-go road program, which will ensure more than 800 active transportation projects continue keeping 25,000 workers on the job.

In response, State Representative Steve Andersson (R-Geneva) released the following statement:

“Today’s agreement was a huge step in moving past an 18 month budget impasse.  While this is not a full budget, it appropriates funds for our state’s biggest needs—and most importantly, it moves our State forward beyond the impasse.  This stopgap is vital for Illinois to continue to operate and gives our taxpayers certainty that the state’s services can continue.  This agreement has made funding education a priority.  Schools will open on time and have essential resources for the entire school year. It guarantees critical state operations and services continue- providing for those in our state that need it the most. 

“While we must do far better moving forward, today was a significant improvement where we stood accountable for our taxpayers and found genuine compromise.  Ultimately bi-partisan negotiations prevailed and we ended the fiscal year with an agreement, which is the next step in moving toward a balanced full year budget.”  

Representative Steve Andersson composed a legislative newsletter that highlights the important aspects of the 2016 legislative session in the General Assembly. 

Click here to view Rep. Andersson’s newsletter, and learn more about what was accomplished this year.
Today a group of state lawmakers urged Illinois Auditor General Frank Mautino to step aside from his duties due to the state board of elections and a federal investigation of his campaign spending and reporting practices. The investigations date back to his time in the Illinois House of Representatives, and as a result over the last few months dozens of lawmakers formally asked Auditor General Mautino several times to provide answers to the questions raised in the State Election Board investigations but have yet to receive any answers.

It was recently disclosed that federal authorities are now looking into his campaign spending and reporting practices—news that prompted legislators to ask for the Auditor General to step aside from his job as he defends himself against potential criminal charges.

State Representative Steve Andersson (R-Geneva) was among the group of legislators who today urged Mautino to voluntarily take a leave of absence while numerous investigations continue to dissect his expenditures.

“As the investigations only seem to be escalating, I agree with my colleagues that Auditor General Mautino should take a leave of absence until the federal and state investigations are concluded,” said Andersson. “There is no way he can effectively serve Illinois at this time. Our state and our residents deserve better. As a legislator, I support transparent government—and having so much uncertainty and clout surrounding our state’s financial watchdog is simply unacceptable. ”

Having received no answers from the Auditor General after many questions from lawmakers on the matter, today’s request for Mautino to step aside is the latest effort to protect the integrity of the office of Auditor General. The General Assembly and Illinois taxpayers await Auditor General Frank Mautino’s response to this request.