The $40 billion state budget, the largest Illinois has ever had, was signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker last week.
Out of the area lawmakers who represent Knox County, only one voted, primarily, in favor of the package of bills signed by the Governor on Wednesday.
Republica Representative Norine Hammond of Quincy voted in favor of the spending plan, which saw an increase in education for both public schools and higher ed.
She tells WGIL that she supported it and voted for it because, in part, it funded many programs that affected the people of her district.
“It funded many of the things that are important to my constituents. And, that is certainly our long-term care, nursing home facilities, our Medicaid, higher education, and K-12 education – just to name a few.”
Hammond says that the budget is balanced and one that funds the day to day of the state government, such as the Department of Natural Resources and more.
When it came to the capital bills though, she was against the increase in the gas tax and using of gaming to fund some vertical and horizontal work.
“I did not support – I don’t support, most importantly, an increase in the gas tax. There was also another capital bill to fund vertical – so to fund buildings. That was another area that I did not support either. That was funded, mainly, by gaming.”
She said that despite the optics of the budget process, it did not come together in the final hours of the legislative session.
Hammond said that the budget was negotiated for several weeks and it was not easy to get to the final product.