Illinois lawmakers have approved a stopgap budget WLS-TV
<p>Illinois lawmakers have approved a stopgap budget.</p>

Illinois approves stopgap budget that will enable schools to open

The state had gone an entire year without a spending plan in place.

Temporarily breaking a yearlong impasse over state spending, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed stopgap budget bills that clear the way for public schools to open on time this fall.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports the budget will enable the state to keep operating for the next six months. The plan includes $1 billion in funding for universities, community colleges, student grants and other educational programs. About $655 million will go to nine state universities.

The appropriations bill also includes a $250 million equity grant for low-income school districts; Chicago Public Schools will get $100 million of that grant.

WLS-TV reports that Rauner also signed legislation that allows Chicago to raise property taxes to help pay for Chicago Public Schools teacher pensions.

Illinois had gone nearly an entire year without a spending and revenue plan, and without funding in place, school districts might not have been able to open for 2016-17.

"This is not a budget, this is not a balanced budget, this is not a solution for our long-term challenges," Rauner said. "This is a bridge to reform.

Video from WLS-TV:

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