Posted tagged ‘Gov Pat Quinn’

As Illinois Medicaid Costs Grow, State Rep. Patti Bellock Says Federal Government Blocking Illinois Changes

January 31, 2012

(Springfield, IL) – Illinois’ difficulties reining in its pension costs are expected to pale in comparison to its efforts to control Medicaid costs.

A new report released Monday from the Civic Federation, a Chicago-based nonpartisan policy group that focuses on state spending, predicts Illinois’ Medicaid costs will skyrocket over the next five years.

Laurence Msall, federation president, said lawmakers and governors have spent Illinois into a deep hole by expanding Medicaid, which provides health-care coverage to low-income families.

“What is most frightening is that even after the income tax, the state was not able to pass a budget to fully fund Medicaid,” Msall said, referring to a 67 percent personal income tax increase and a 48 percent corporate income tax increase in January 2011.

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Will Governor Pat Quinn Sign Illinois Budget on Thursday?

June 28, 2011

(Springfield, IL) — Gov. Pat Quinn may sign the 2012 state budget Thursday, but the spending plan is not a one-and-done deal.

“The budget is an on-going process,” said Quinn. “We have to work on it 365 days of the fiscal year.”

Quinn, who introduced a nearly $36 billion budget, said he is not happy with the $33.4 billion spending plan that Illinois lawmakers sent him, and he wants more spending in education and human services.

But while Quinn can shift around money in the budget, he cannot order more spending, said state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago.

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Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka Offers No Alternative Gov. Pat Quinn’s Plan to Pay Illinois’ Delinquent Bills

May 27, 2011

(Springfield, IL) — May 27, 2011. For the upcoming year, Illinois lawmakers are weighing whether to pay bills with borrowed money or not pay businesses and local government money the state owes them.

However, if the state borrows the $6.2 billion for its bills, Illinois may have another mountain of debt in a few years.

Democrats are pushing the plan to borrow $6.2 billion in order to pay some of Illinois’ $8.2 billion in past-due bills.

Republicans say lawmakers have to stop borrowing and start cutting spending if Illinois is ever going to pay its bills and live within its means.

Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, who actually writes the checks for the state’s bills, said spending money now is not the solution.

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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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As Illinois Budget Votes Loom in State Senate, GOP, Dem Lawmakers Spar

May 2, 2011

(Springfield, IL) – May 2, 2011. As Illinois’ budget deadline approaches, the Illinois Senate could be the next fiscal battleground.

Fresh off of a two-week break, Illinois state senators on Monday returned to the Capitol to iron out the final details of a $30-billion-plus state spending plan.

“We’re going to pass a budget, and it will be a balanced budget,” said state Sen. William Haine, D-Alton, who added that he is confident the Senate would be done by the end of next week.

Exactly how to divide the state’s dollars, however, is in dispute.

State Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, wants to see an agreement between the House and Senate that sets a price tag before lawmakers start spending.

“It is unfair to human service providers, state employees, universities to have both chambers pass a budget that is totally different and have each of them thinking that one or the other is going to be the realistic number,” Syverson said.

The House is working with a $33.2 billion budget, while the Senate is working with a $34.3 billion plan. Both estimates are less than the $35.4 billion figure that Gov. Pat Quinn said he wants to spend next year.

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As Illinois Human Service Budget Cuts Loom, GOP Lawmakers Grill Quinn Officials on AFSCME Pay Raises

April 29, 2011

(Springfield, IL) — April 29, 2011. The Illinois Department of Human Services says it will be forced to cut programs to some of the state’s most vulnerable residents unless it is spared from deep cuts in next year’s budget.

But lawmakers on Thursday questioned the agency’s commitment given the fact that DHS employees received pay raises.

“I don’t know who is more vulnerable in Illinois, tell me who they are,” said State Rep. Ron Stephens, R-Highland, in a heated discussion during a committee meeting. “Bring in your AFSCME (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees) employees and have them stand before us, and tell us that they are more vulnerable than the people at these facilities.”

DHS Secretary Michelle Saddler said the workload for employees has doubled due to layoffs, and that DHS employees have received pay raises that total up to $47 million.

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Treasurer Dan Rutherford Backs Borrowing Plan to Pay Illinois Vendors

April 20, 2011

(Springfield, IL) — Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford and Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka can both agree on a plan to merge their offices, but short-term borrowing is a different thing.

Republicans opposed Gov. Pat Quinn‘s plan to borrow $8.75 billion to help the state pay off its debt of $9 billion to $10 billion. Quinn wants to borrow $2 billion in short-term loans to help pay the state’s backlog of bills.

Any short-term borrowing must win the OK from both financial offices.

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