A new state budget in place. The $40-billion spending plan did not get the support of local State Rep. Dan Swanson in the Illinois House.
Proponents say the measure pumps $375 million into the public school funding formula that was revamped two years ago. It borrows more than $1 billion to put toward a lingering, $7 billion pile of past due bills to save money on interest payments. It invests $500 million in the popular needs-based Monetary Award Program college tuition assistance program. And it increases by $100-million, funding for the Department of Children and Family Services, which has seen more than its share of criticism over its inability to save three children in its care who have died this year.