BudgetQuote Bennett2021 2

SPRINGFIELD – Following Gov. JB Pritzker’s budget address Wednesday, State Senator Scott Bennett (D-Champaign) expressed his support of the governor’s plans to prioritize families, students, workers and small businesses.

“This budget proposal acknowledges the hardships that families have faced and continue to face during this awful pandemic, while also looking ahead at the needs of the people within our communities,” Bennett said. “I’m pleased to see this budget proposal invests in agencies like the Illinois Department of Employment Security, which has been overwhelmed over the past 11 months.” 

The Illinois Department of Employment Security has struggled with a flood of unemployment claims during the pandemic, but the proposed budget utilizes additional funding for the department to invest in call center workers, IT resources and fraud analysis technology.

The governor’s proposal also increases funding for the Monetary Award Program (MAP) grant program, which provides financial assistance to Illinois residents who attend approved Illinois colleges.  This will help ensure current recipients will continue to qualify and more college students will have access to academic opportunities.

“Despite the challenges of the pandemic, this proposal prioritizes students’ needs and puts the state’s best foot forward,” Bennett said. “As the new chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee, I support keeping our best and brightest in Illinois.”

Wednesday’s proposed budget is the beginning of the negotiation process, not the end. Bennett looks forward to bipartisan discussions this session to construct a balanced budget to provide stability and functionality for the state.

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