IASB Legislative Report 103-38

Delivered via email: May 29, 2024

Both Chambers Pass FY2025 State Budget

Late Sunday night (May 26) the Senate passed the long-anticipated state budget, SB251 SA3, along with the Budget Implementation Bill (BIMP), HB4959 SA2, the substantive companion bill to the state budget, and headed home for the summer. The House returned to the Capitol on Tuesday (May 28) to finish its work. After working into the early hours of May 29, the $53.1 billion budget was approved by the House with a vote of 65-45. The budget now heads to Governor Pritzker’s desk for final approval.

For months, legislators have been discussing Governor JB Pritzker’s proposed FY2025 budget that was introduced in February. For K-12 education, the Governor’s proposal included a $350 million increase to Evidence-Based Funding, some increases to the special education transportation line item, and $45 million to the teacher vacancy grant (year two of a three-year commitment to this initiative). With minor deviations, the state budget mirrors the Governor’s recommendations for K-12 education. However, several legislators noted that the budget is still $135 million short of ISBE’s K-12 education recommendations.

Over the past several months, legislators have also discussed and testified on their own initiatives, many of which did not end up being included in the FY2025 state budget. The budget did include provisions originally included in SB2209, an initiative of Senator Belt who has championed the Breakfast After the Bell meal program, with a $300,000 allocation. However, some other, more prominent K-12 education appropriations proposals were not included in the final state budget. Some of the proposals not included for FY2025 are: Healthy Meals for All (West – HB4785 – $209 million), new arrivals students (Crespo – HB2822 - $188 million/ISBE – $35 million), student teacher stipends (Hernandez – HB4652 - approximately $54 million), and school construction dollars (advocated for by both Democrats and Republicans).

It’s important to note that Governor Pritzker’s proposed balanced budget relied on legislators enacting approximately $1 billion in revenue enhancements. The revenue omnibus bill, HB4951, ended up needing three separate votes, after members were verified off the roll call during verification votes, as well as a suspension of the rules in order for the third vote to take place, before finally passing on the third attempt with a vote of 60-47. With the revenue omnibus bill ultimately passing both chambers, that brought the total anticipated revenues to just over $53 billion.

In addition to the state budget and BIMP, other important bills were also finalized in the final days (i.e. bond authorization, sunset extensions, etc.). The IASB Governmental Relations Team will be providing a full End-of-Session Report by July. Below are the highlights of the state budget and BIMP bills.

Highlights for K-12 Education FY2025 State Funding

The Fiscal Year 2025 State of Illinois Budget currently contains significant K-12 education spending including:
  • Increase of $350 million to Evidence-Based Funding ($50 million earmarked for Property Tax Relief Grants)
  • Increase of $30 million for Special Ed Transportation Mandated Categorical (MCAT)
  • New funding of more than $25 million to ISBE for grants and administrative expenses for After School Programs
  • $45 million for the Teacher Vacancy grant (year two of a three-year grant commitment by the Governor)
  • Increase of $10 million for Career and Technical Education (CTE)
  • Increase of $800,000 for Agricultural Education
  • New grant of $3 million to support implementation of the ISBE State Literacy Plan

Other Important Components of the State Budget and BIMP

Budget - Early Childhood Funding (SB251 SA3)
  • An additional $75 million in funding through the Early Childhood Block Grant, which is part of the Smart Start Illinois program that is expected to provide universal preschool by 2027. The $75 million allows for 5,000 new early childhood slots.
  • $13 million for the first year of the transition to the new Illinois Department of Early Childhood, which will be created in July 2024 and oversee programs starting in July 2026.
BIMP (HB4959 SA2)
  • Extends the ability for a TRS retiree to teach in a subject shortage area to 2027 (currently expires in 2024);
  • Adds state-authorized charter schools to the transportation line item (the State Budget increased the Regular/Vocational Transportation MCAT line-item by $2 Million to account for these costs);
  • Creates the Fleet Electrification Incentive program which includes school buses (the State Budget allocated $70 Million to the program);
  • Requires ISBE to report on which districts offer a Breakfast After the Bell program;
  • Establishes the Breakfast After the Bell program (the State Budget allocated $300,000 total at a maximum of $7,000 per school);
  • Adds dental and vision benefits to TRS health benefits beginning January 1, 2025, as well as sets forth required premiums to be paid by TRS benefit recipients.

Advocacy Ambassadors

The next Advocacy Ambassadors Zoom meeting will take place Friday, June 7 at noon for our legislative session wrap-up with a focus on the state budget. If you wish to attend this meeting, please sign up as an Advocacy Ambassador and register for the event through the IASB Events Calendar.