Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Not all on board

The Latino caucus would push the “no” button if the budget were called for a vote as it stood Tuesday evening. Democratic Rep. Edward Acevedo told me the budget proposal lacks money for community-based programs that are important to his Chicago constituents. He’s not totally on board with the tuition tax credit agreement, either.

Instead of offering $1,000 tuition tax credits for college students who receive good grades, the compromise would allow middle-income families (those who make less than $200,000 a year) to receive a one-year, $500 grant to pay for students’ tuition and fees. The money to pay for the program is contingent on the sale of student loans currently held by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

Acevedo said although other education items on his wish list were worked out, he’s watching out for the City of Chicago in the current tuition compromise. As is, he says, “You’re helping the middle class, you’re helping the poor, you’re helping the rich because it doesn’t say you have to make a certain amount of income. Anybody can get that tax credit. We’re more inclined to vote for something that will help low-income families instead of families across the board.”

The House could take a vote on the budget Wednesday morning. You can take a closer look at some separate budget pieces in the following links:
- The education budget
- The finance budget, which includes a list of fund sweeps (one of the major revenue sources for the rest of the spending programs)
- The human services budget

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