Dear Friends,


I’m pleased to share with you that the General Assembly has passed a full, balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2019 ahead of the deadline.


This budget plan makes significant investments in areas needed to improve the quality of life for all citizens of the state of Illinois, particularly those of the 17th District.


Highlights of the FY 19 budget include:


  • A record investment of more than $10 Billion in Education
    • $8.3 Billion for Pre-K–12 ($400 Million more than the FY18 Budget)
    • $1.8 Billion for Higher Education, including $25 Million for the AIM HIGH Scholarship Program and increased funding for community colleges and universities
    • $493.7 Million for Early Childhood Education ($50 Million more than the FY18 budget)
  • Youth Employment Services—$15 Million
  • Youth Programming (including Teen REACH)—$13.8 Million
  • Breast and Cervical Cancer Screenings—$13.5 Million
  • Does NOT shift the cost of pensions or health care costs to local schools or universities
  • Does NOT eliminate health insurance subsidies for retired teachers.


Education is highly prioritized within this budget. The added funding this year will ensure the new Evidence Based Funding formula will operate and level the playing field for students throughout the state.


We also provided funds needed to improve the quality of our institutions of higher education, like Chicago State University. The budget seeks to keep students in Illinois by offering them a new financial aid option, AIM HIGH. This program provides matching grants to public universities for awards to Illinois undergraduate students based on both merit and financial aid criteria.


Many of you have contacted me and raised legitimate concerns about gun violence.


As one of the budgeteers, I kept public safety and alternative strategies to prevent the root causes of violence in my mind as we negotiated this year’s budget. This plan restores funding for youth employment services and youth programming, including Teen REACH.


Jobs and afterschool programs go hand in hand with violence prevention. Providing our young people with constructive activities and employment is crucial to keeping them focused on their futures, off the streets and, most of all, alive.


I’m glad my colleagues and I were able to work together in a bipartisan manner to craft a balanced spending plan that prioritizes the success of our young people in at-risk communities, invests in education and improves the quality of life for citizens across our state.


I hope the governor signs this budget into law, so we can continue on the path to stability and make a difference in the lives of people throughout the 17th District.


Please continue to reach out to me with any questions or concerns you have by calling my district office at (773) 933-7715 or via email at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


You can also follow me on social media via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


As always, I will continue to fight for what’s best for the people of the 17th Senate District.


Thank you for your support.


Elgie Sims

Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr.
17th District – Illinois

Category: Uncategorised

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Office Info

Chicago Office:
8233 S. Princeton
Chicago, IL 60620

P. 773.933.7715

Springfield Office:
218 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
P. 217.782.3201