Illinois Doomsday Budget Edges Toward Illinois Doomsday Budget-Lite

MEMORANDUM

TO:        CCAI CEOs/EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS/POLICY COMMITTEE
FROM: MARGE BERGLIND, President, Child Care Association of Illinois
DATE:  JUNE 30, 2009
RE:       HOUSE APPROVES BILL TO ADD $2+Billion TO BUDGET

Last night, the Illinois House voted to approve $2.23 billion in general obligation bonds to fund pension obligations. This would free those funds to use for the FY’ 10 operating budget. An amendment was added to the original bill that mandates use of these funds for community-based human services. The amendment reads:

SB 415 with HA # 4
“Section 1. Legislative intention; assist our most vulnerable citizens. It is the intention of the General Assembly in enacting this legislation that, by applying the net proceeds of the sale of general obligation bonds in the amount of $2,230,000,000 authorized by this amendatory Act of the 96th General Assembly to fund pension obligations of the State, an equivalent amount will be made available for the State’s operational expenses in these times of fiscal crisis to help fund programs and services provided by community-based human service providers to ensure that we continue assisting the most vulnerable of our citizens.”

The bill will now move to the senate for concurrence with the amendments.

If the bill is approved by the Senate and signed by Governor Pat Quinn, it could provide some budget relief for FY ’10. However, the shortfall in Governor Quinn’s current, projected Illinois doomsday budget is purported to be $5 billion in community-provided services. This leaves a shortfall of $2.77 in community human services, which include the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). There is also a $4.2 billion deficit in state-provided services.

During debate, the sponsor verified that this bill is not intended to be a line-item appropriations bill. It generates revenue. The intent is to give Governor Quinn and the state agencies latitude to determine which human services must  be funded, in whole or in part, with this $2.23 billion.

If the Senate approves and Governor Quinn signs this bill, there will be additional funds for the state budget. However, there will still likely be cuts and reductions, since there is still not enough revenue to fill the budget gap.

As of last night, no vote was expected on a tax increase.

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