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Mary Pat Campbell
Join Date: Nov 2003
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Higher Education Funding Shortfall Persists Despite New Budget

Higher education was one of the areas hit hardest by the State of Illinois’ two-year budget impasse. This blog post examines how higher education fares under the budget enacted earlier this month by the General Assembly’s override of Governor Bruce Rauner’s vetoes.

The new budget has appropriations for fiscal year 2018, which began on July 1, and additional appropriations for the previous fiscal year. With the new spending authority, the State’s average annual funding for higher education from FY2016 through FY2018 is about 80% of the level in FY2015, the last year before the budget standoff. Average annual State funding for those three years is $1.5 billion, compared with $1.9 billion in FY2015.

Higher education received about $623 million in FY2016. As discussed here, a stopgap budget enacted on June 30, 2016 provided approximately $1 billion more, which could be used to cover FY2016 costs as well as FY2017 costs through the end of calendar year 2016. When the stopgap funding expired on December 31, 2016, it was not replaced until the new budget was enacted earlier this month.

The following table shows General Funds spending on higher education in FY2015 and FY2016 and appropriations for FY2017 and FY2018. Contributions to the State Universities Retirement System are not included. As shown in the table, the newly enacted appropriations for FY2017 and FY2018 do not make up for the lack of funding in FY2016.



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