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Quinn Signs Budget, State Sees Cuts

Updated: Tuesday, July 1 2014, 09:12 AM CDT
In the nick of time. The new state budget taking effect Tuesday. Governor Pat Quinn signed the budget into law Monday, but he didn't give his John Hancock until making some changes. Newschannel at 9's Rebekah Thurston explains how the changes he made are expected to save the state money.

$35.7 billion. That's how much this year's state spending plan is set for.

Governor Pat Quinn signed it into law Monday after tweaking bits and pieces with his veto pen.

One of the biggest cuts eliminates nearly half the state's air fleet.

"In the state of Illinois, we have the largest air fleet in the Nation," said Republican Lawmaker Bill Mitchell. "We also have one of the wost budget situations."

Quinn's cut means the state will sell nine of its 21 aircraft, but Mitchell says that's not enough.

"That's $7 million you can spend other places, in education, for seniors, or for whatever, so this is an action that's long overdue. Its a little too late, but its a step in the right direction," said Mitchell.

Other folks not happy with the budget include educators.

"We are last in school funding. We are 50 out of 50 states. We have the lowest funding in the Union," said Williamsville-Sherman Superintendent David Root. "Funding public education has not been a priority in this state. It's obvious when you're last."

The state is allocating the same amount of funding as it did last year, but districts that depend on state money, say they're not getting as much as the state wants you to believe.

"Flat funding basically is funding levels that were 2009, and then when they pro-rated it, basically we're functioning on funding levels of 2007," said Root. "There's a miscommunication that flat funding means fully funding education, cause it's not. Its funding it at levels of 7 years ago."

This, forcing small districts to survive on very little money.

"We're not going to cut programs. That's a short-term solution that would create a long term problem for our school district... so we just have to use our reserves as best as we can," said Root.

Quinn also saved the state $55 million by reducing parking and building leases. Bill McCarty with Springfield's Office of Budget and Management says this shouldn't affect the capital city as most of those in our area were already consolidated in past years.Quinn Signs Budget, Makes CutsQuinn Signs Budget, State Sees Cuts

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