Senator Gillespie speaks on the Senator floor while holding a piece of paper.

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois continues to build on responsible spending decisions, investing in education and services that support working families, thanks to support from State Senator Ann Gillespie of the Fiscal Year 2024 budget, which was signed into law Wednesday.

“This budget is fiscally responsible, prioritizes investments in education and economic development, and contains measures that support working families,” said Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights). “As chair of the Appropriations-Health and Human Services Committee, I am proud to support this budget that reflects our commitment to providing essential resources and support to those who need it the most.”

The FY24 budget builds on years of fiscal progress, allocating an additional $200 million pension payment on top of the $500 million added in the previous two fiscal years. Wage increases for direct support professionals and home health workers — who fill a critical role in caring for people with disabilities, older adults and other vulnerable populations — will help essential workers achieve financial stability for themselves and their families.

Further, the budget prioritizes education from preschool to college. Included is a $250 million investment into early childhood education, expanding access to preschool, building the child care workforce and providing additional early intervention and home visiting programs. $350 million in new funds will support the evidence-based funding model for K-12 education, ensuring all students have access to a quality education. Record funding for higher education includes additional MAP grant funding, allowing nearly all students at or below median income to attend community college for free.

“By eliminating preschool deserts, expanding access to child care and making education more attainable, we are furthering our commitment to families,” said Gillespie. “With this budget in place, we are not only meeting the immediate needs of our communities but also building a solid and prosperous future for all Illinois residents.”

The FY24 budget will take effect on July 1, the start of the new fiscal year.