SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Mike Halpin (D-Rock Island) released the following statement on the Senate passage of the Fiscal Year 2025 budget:

“Although aspects of the budget we passed tonight leave me disappointed, and we’ll need to do more work next year, no budget is perfect. What we passed tonight strikes a balance that will benefit the people of Western Illinois.

“This fiscal plan does not adequately fund higher education. We will continue to lose students to other states and continue to fall behind if we don’t change how we fund our universities. There is more work to do on equitable education funding. Nonetheless, on the positive side, for the first time in a decade, we are funding the Illinois Veterans Grant. We can never fully repay the debt we owe our service members for their service, but this is a good start.

“We also need to do more to ensure that the important programs we fund, such as the Illinois Emergency Rental Assistance Program and HOME Illinois, help people in Western Illinois and not just those in Chicago and the suburbs. This budget makes efforts on this front. This budget includes $50 million for a new child tax credit for middle-class parents, over $1 billion to fix our roads, bridges and infrastructure, and local capital projects that will continue to build up our communities.

“It’s important that we pass a fiscally sound budget that doesn’t cut essential services for residents who need them. This budget will keep Illinois on the same financially disciplined path that has led to nine credit upgrades in the last few years.”