SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Omar Aquino (D-Chicago) approved of the proposed budget that passed the Senate today, applauding its focus on funding education and social services.

“The last administration decimated our schools and social programs,” said Aquino. “I am happy that our new budget will restore cuts made to those areas and provide the most vulnerable in our state with a better safety net.”

The proposed budget for FY20 would make a record $8.8 billion investment in P-12 education, $50 million of which is designed to provide property tax relief. Higher education would increase its operational funding by 5% and Monetary Assistance Program (MAP) grants would see an additional $50 million investment.

“Educational achievement is the most direct way to rise out of poverty,” said Aquino. “The increased investment in early education will ensure that working class people can prepare themselves to enter the workforce as skilled individuals. We will see a huge return on investment by prioritizing education now.”

Social services would see a massive $165 million increase in state funding under the proposed budget. The increases will not only expand existing services, but provide living wages to thousands of workers who care for seniors and people living with disabilities.

“As a case manager for the Community Care Program, I saw exactly how difficult of the job of in-home care workers can be,” said Aquino. “They deserve a living wage for the work they do. It is a labor of love, and they should not be living in poverty.”

The budget will go to the House for concurrence before being sent to the governor.