By Mark Fitton
Illinois News Network
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Bruce Rauner on Thursday signed a bill to access about $5.4 billion in federal funding for Illinois programs that would have been otherwise tied up because of the lack of a state budget.
The measure, Senate Bill 2042, “will help those in need without adding to the state’s budget deficit,” Rauner spokesman Lance Trover said in a news release. The “bill allows the state to provide some services to the state’s most vulnerable citizens,” he added.
The bill also authorizes the state to pay $166 million from its own funds toward debt service for Chicago’s Metropolitan Pier & Exposition Authority.
House Democrats last week attempted to add another $585 million in state general fund spending, but they backed off that effort when it appeared they were lacking votes.
The bill passed the House by a 98 to 0 vote. The Senate on Wednesday night sent it to the governor on a vote of 52 to 0.