SPRINGFIELD, IL. – The Illinois budget passed on Thursday fails to impose the true and meaningful fiscal restraint needed to bring state finances in line, warns Senator Althoff.

Instead, the new budget plan approved by the legislative majority spends $300 million more than the current budget, including funding for numerous programs that are unaffordable in the current tough fiscal climate.

“Right now, the General Assembly should be focusing on funding core state budget priorities, like classroom education and public safety. Unfortunately this budget includes millions of dollars for programs that have noble intentions, but aren’t very crucial to our state’s operations and infrastructure.”

Among the programs Althoff said should have been cut: “Grow Your Own Teachers,” an initiative that’s spent millions of dollars to graduate only 54 teachers since its inception, and the Neighborhood Recovery Initiative, which primarily benefits Chicago neighborhoods.

Althoff also took issue with the Senate Democratic majority’s last minute approval of a supplemental appropriation bill (Senate Bill 2365) that included $199 million in new spending above and beyond the budget passed by the Illinois House.

“This budget is full of misplaced priorities – at the same time it enacts steep Medicaid and frontline social services cuts, it continues funding to programs that aren’t very crucial to Illinois families,” Althoff said. “Illinois taxpayers deserve better than this, and it’s unfortunate our current state leadership seems unwilling and unable to enact a budget that serves the best interest of all of our citizens.”

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