Sen. Dave Koehler

SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Dave Koehler supported the Fiscal Year 2024 budget, which prioritizes early childhood and higher education, as well as infrastructure and workforce development.

“This budget is a win for our universities and community colleges,” said Koehler (D-Peoria). “By providing the largest higher education funding increase in two decades, we are ensuring our students can afford to go to college and pursue their dreams.”

The budget will invest in a new program – SMART Start Illinois – a multi-year program to prepare children to be lifelong learners. This program includes funding for the Illinois State Board of Education Early Childhood Block Grant. The budget increases Monetary Award Program funding, as well as the Minority Teacher Scholarship Program.

Additionally, the budget includes funding for business attraction and development, and workforce training. The budget lists investments toward downtowns that are in need of rehabilitation, and for the Fast-Track Workforce program to provide employee screening, recruitment and job training development to employers.

“Our increased funding in workforce programs, job creation and business development gives Illinoisans greater avenues to find fulfilling, high-paying jobs,” said Koehler. “By continuing our commitment toward our state’s workforce, we are creating new opportunities that will keep our best and brightest in Illinois.”

The FY 24 budget passed the Senate Thursday.