Rauner approves federal funds release

Republican Bruce Rauner smiles after winning the midterm elections in Chicago, Illinois, November 4, 2014. REUTERS/Jim Young

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.

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