Archive for the ‘Governor Pat Quinn’ category

Quinn Witholds Judgment on Illinois Budget Approved by Lawmakers which Spends $2 Billion than Governor’s Plan

June 1, 2011

(Springfield, IL) — June 1, 2011. The new Illinois budget may spend less than Gov. Pat Quinn’s original proposal, but it is higher than this past year’s budget and was balanced by delaying the payment of billions of dollars in unpaid bills until this current fiscal year.

“The governor has been clear … that while we put our fiscal house in order, we must continue to protect core priorities,” said Kelly Kraft, Quinn’s budget spokeswoman.

Quinn is “reviewing” the budget’s impact on Illinois human services and schools statewide, Kraft said, which were among those items lawmakers trimmed to reduce spending from Quinn’s $36 billion to $33.2 billion.

House Democratic budget architect Frank Mautino, D-Spring Valley, said the new spending priorities include Illinois’ $4 billion pension payment.

The budget “for the first time doesn’t hide the true costs of state government by taking the pensions off budget,” said Mautino. “We’re making all of our pension payments, which for the past three years we’ve had to borrow” to fund.

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Illinois General Assembly, Gov. Pat Quinn Must Reconcile Competing Illinois Human Services Budgets

May 21, 2011

(Springfield, IL) — Gov. Pat Quinn and former Gov. Jim Edgar may have different political views, but Quinn is dealing with a similar, but bigger, challenge than Edgar tackled during his tenure as governor.

Edgar faced a nearly $2 billion deficit in 1991. Quinn assumed office in 2009, inheriting a more than $13 billion deficit. Edgar left office in 1999 with a $1.5 billion surplus, crediting his success to raising the temporary tax which later became permanent, cutting state spending and saying “no” to new programs.

“That took time, and it took discipline,” Edgar said.

Quinn’s administration isn’t hoping for a budget surplus, but is expecting fiscal stability following proposed spending reductions and recent personal and corporate income tax increases.

Quinn’s proposed $35.4 billion spending plan for fiscal year 2012 aggressively slashes the overall human services budget by about $412 million, or 11 percent, one of the deepest reductions compared to other areas.

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Advocates Urge Lawmakers to Approve Gov. Pat Quinn’s Illinois Department of Children and Family Services Budget

May 2, 2011

(Springfield, IL) — May 2, 2011. Illinois’ top child welfare advocate group has called on the state legislature to back Governor Pat Quinn‘s proposed $1.2 billion Illinois Department of Children Family Services fiscal year 2012 budget.

“The Illinois child welfare system has gone from the worst in the nation to a national model because of reforms demanded by eight different court consent decrees and legislated by the Illinois General Assembly,” said Marge Berglind, President of the Child Care Association of Illinois.

“Courts ordered reforms 10-years ago and lawmakers delivered,” said Berglind. “Now legislators have to protect their investment and approve the governor’s requested budget.”

Quinn’s proposal cuts 2.87% or $24.9 million in General Revenue Funds from the agency’s fiscal year 2011 level.

Lawmakers are back in Springfield this week to address budget issues.

Radogno, Cullerton Clash on Illinois Budget

April 18, 2011

(Springfield, IL) — Illinois Senate Republicans and Democrats agree that cuts are a must to balance next year’s budget, but they argue over exactly how to do it.

After the Senate on Friday passed several measures to make payments to state pension funds, Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, said they would have to slash about $1.2 billion from Gov. Pat Quinn’s $35.4 billion budget to balance the checkbook for the next fiscal year.

Cullerton said he wants to see lawmakers in the coming weeks suggest changes to the approximately 40 different pieces of legislation that make up Quinn’s proposed budget, a move Cullerton said would make the process more “open and transparent.”

“We’re not suggesting going behind closed doors, and having a take it or leave it plan that we dump on the desk of the members,” said Cullerton.

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Gov. Pat Quinn Wants to Borrow $2 Billion to Pay Illinois Bills

March 25, 2011

(Springfield, IL) — Is Gov. Pat Quinn’s latest plan a cash advance from the federal government, or another multi-billion dollar borrowing plan?

Quinn wants to borrow $2 billion in short-term loans to help pay off the state’s backlog of debt, totaling $9 billion to $10 billion. About half will go toward paying Medicaid vendors before the enhanced federal match rate drops to 50 percent on July 1. The other half will go toward settling debts with group insurance providers.

“The (governor) feels strongly that we should not leave hundreds of millions of dollars in enhanced federal Medicaid match on the table and is working with legislators on a plan to restructure approximately a billion dollars immediately to take advantage of the enhanced rate prior to its expiration,” said Quinn spokeswoman Kelly Kraft.

The federal stimulus law, passed during the height of the recession in 2009, provided states with about $80 billion in 2009 and 2010 by increasing the federal government’s Medicaid match rate to nursing homes and hospitals, with the caveat that those providers be paid within 30 days. Illinois is being matched at 59 percent until March 31. Afterward, the rate will drop to 57 percent, and ultimately end at its regular match rate of 50 percent on July 1.
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Illinois House Approves New Illinois Budget; Governor Pat Quinn Gets Emergency Budget Powers

May 27, 2010

Governor Pat Quinn

(Springfield, IL) — May 27, 2010. The Illinois House on Wednesday night passed a $26.2 billion budget plan previously approved on May 6 by the Illinois Senate.

The Illinois budget, House Bill 859, is a “lump sum” and, as a result, there are few specific appropriations lines to track. Lump appropriations went to specific state agencies and a super lump sum—$2.3 billion—went to the Governor’s office to allocate.

“The spending plan cuts the state agencies’ operations approximately 5%–or $400 million—from FY ’10 levels,” said Marge Berglind, President of the Child Care Association of Illinois.

Some state agency appropriations actually tally to levels that are more than a 5% reduction. The shortfall would then have to be negotiated between the agency and the Governor’s office from that “super lump sum”, Berglind noted.

The Illinois State Board of Education budget still contains worrisome reductions in mandated categorical lines. If the legislature approves the $1 per pack cigarette tax, much of that revenue is geared towards reducing some of those cuts.

The House also passed the Emergency Budget Act, which contains a series of provisions for revenue (i.e. a $1 billion borrowing from restricted state funds) and administrative authority.

“The Emergency Budget Act will give Governor Pat Quinn power to cut the budget as he sees fit without the General Assembly’s approval,” said Berglind.

All programs are “subject to appropriations” so that potentially any program, including entitlement programs, could be cut or reduced. Quinn could also hold back funding from state agencies and could adjust service and reimbursement rates at will.

The Emergency Budget Act bill must go back to the Senate today for concurrence on amendments. The Senate previously passed its own version of this act on May 6, though it is not expected that this will pose a problem.

Senate President John Cullerton

The House also passed legislation that permits borrowing to meet its  $3.5 billion pension payment obligation. That authorization to borrow reduces some strain on the spending plan. The Senate must concur with amendments on this bill as well.

“Currently, Senate passage of the pension borrowing is in doubt,” said Berglind. “Senate President John Cullerton is still trying to round up votes for the plan pushed through the House by Speaker Michael Madigan.”

The House must still debate the cigarette tax and tax amnesty provisions of the budget framework.

The legislature is likely to have the final pieces of the budget in place by the end of the week. However, the spending plan itself is complete.

“As the Child Care Association of Illinois previously predicted, this lump sum budget now goes to the state agencies to develop line item budgets,” said Berglind. “Those agencies must determine their own priorities and then translate those into actual spending plans for specific programs and services.

“It may take some time for us to verify and validate the plans of the state agencies for specific programs and contracts.”

Berglind noted that this spending plan, in general, is not as drastic in its reductions as it could have been, although there will be areas of concern as the year progresses.

Governor Pat Quinn’s Budget Jeopardizes 24-Hour Crisis Intervention, Mental Health Care, After School, Special Ed for 17,000 Troubled Teens

March 12, 2010

Governor Pat Quinn

(Springfield, IL) – March 5, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn’s budget proposal that slashes $20 million from Illinois child welfare agencies serving troubled Illinois teenagers—on top of a $20 million cut last year—will undermine care and after school programs to at least 17,000 children, according to advocates.

“Governor Pat Quinn delivered a brief but a dismal budget message,” said Marge Berglind, President of the Child Care Association of Illinois. “And that message says the state will slash care to more than 17,000 troubled Illinois teenagers.”

“Governor Quinn’s proposed cuts to youth services will also eliminate approximately 1,075 professional and administrative jobs related to youth programs.”

According to Berglind’s analysis of Quinn’s budget, Early Intervention, Homeless Youth, Healthy Families, Parents Too Soon, Redeploy Illinois, Teen REACH, Teen Parent Services, and UDIS were reduced 10%.

“The Governor is gutting these after school and supplemental school programs year after year after year with brutal cuts,” said Berglind. “Shrinking these supportive school programs is an invitation to a graduation rate collapse.”

Additionally, Berglind noted that Illinois Department of Human Services officials said that 4,200 children would lose care due to Quinn’s cuts to Mental Health Community Based services.

“Eliminating mental health care for 4,200 children will likely doom their academic performance,” said Berglind.

Finally, Berglind noted that the state special education budget took a huge hit of almost $67 million in Quinn’s budget. In the this budget, which serves DCFS youth with behavioral and learning problems, the Regular Orphanage Act line is down 25.44%, the Special Ed Orphanage Act line is down 32.13% and the Private Tuition Line is down 13.78%.

“State support for special education is down, down, down the drain,” said Berglind.

“We urge the General Assembly to develop a budget that reverses the massive cuts to care, after school, and special education programs for troubled youth,” said Berglind.