The budget debate got heated in the Illinois Senate late Thursday as some Republicans took offense to the idea they’ve spent years decimating education. House budget bills passed the Senate with little opposition, as expected, except on education where Democratic senators said more than the proposed $600 million cut from the House was too much.
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Not so, says State Sen. Matt Murphy (R-Palatine). “1 billion dollars a year on top every single year, it went up,” says Murphy. “A billion dollars a year. And you know what happened to test scores? They flat-lined!” Some Democrats say Illinois ranks 48th in the nation in education funding.
The total budget spends just shy of the legislature’s revenue estimate at $33.7 billion, which includes full Medicaid and pension payments. The House added $175 million back to education funding by closing tax loopholes on satellite TV providers and offshore oil drilling companies.