* The one-month budget passed the House yesterday and will likely clear the Senate on Friday. Expectations are extremely low at the Statehouse for wrapping up this overtime session anytime soon. There’s word from inside the governor’s office that he’s prepared to do the one-month deals until January, or until he gets what he wants for health care.
* I particularly liked this paragraph…
After 45 minutes of political sniping under the guise of debating the bill, the House voted 111-3 to adopt the interim budget.
* But there’s a big hitch to simply extending the current fiscal year’s budget one month at a time…
Rep. Bill Black, a Danville Republican, said the next pressure point is August, when the state has to make its first payments of fiscal year ’08 to elementary and secondary education systems. He said he and other Republicans would approve the one-month budget as a stopgap measure to keep the state operating through July, but he added, “Don’t count on it in August.”
* There is no school aid payment in July (there are two in June), but future monthly aid payments will either require more revenue sources, or force the state to draw on cash that would normally be spent at the end of next fiscal year, putting the FY ‘08 budget in an ever-deeper hole. And there’s something else that will put the state further into a hole…
The budget does not include additional money for employee salaries, even though union workers are scheduled to get raises beginning July 1. Hannig said the raises will be honored anyway.
“Under any circumstances, the governor is obligated to pay the contract he entered into on behalf of the state,” Hannig said. “We think for this one month, he’ll be able to make the payments to his employees as provided for in the contract.”
* Rep. Jack Franks (D-Woodstock), who rarely votes for budget bills and never votes for tax hikes, managed a bit of showboating yesterday…
State Rep. Jack Franks, a Woodstock Democrat, opposed the fix, saying it took the pressure off lawmakers when a long-term solution is needed.
“We were elected to make tough choices,” Franks said.
Yeah. Like he’d vote for it.
* Meanwhile, Franks’ committee unanimously approved a resolution yesterday that calls on the governor to stay in Springfield during the overtime session. Franks is a longtime Blagojevich critic, so the vote gave him another opportunity to seek the spotlight…
“We’re just encouraging him - we’re not requiring him,” said Rep. Jack Franks, D-Woodstock, who chairs the House State Government Administration Committee.
Rep. Careen Gordon, D-Coal City, said the state constitution would not allow the Legislature to demand that the governor stay in Springfield, although it does require that all statewide-elected officials maintain residences in the capital city.
* And Franks is thinking about introducing yet another resolution…
Before the resolution passed, 8-0, Franks said he intends to sponsor another resolution to recommend that the state reimburse the governor for only one trip to and from Springfield each week, the same rule that applies to state lawmakers.
“I believe he should either have to pay out of his own personal account or his campaign account, and I certainly think he should get a 1099 (tax form) from the state of Illinois as a personal benefit that he’s received,” Franks said. Exceptions could be made for state emergencies, he said.
The resolution that cleared Franks’ committee yesterday can be found here.
* Related stories…
* Illinois House approves temporary budget
* House approves temporary budget
* State House OKs 30 day emergency budget plan
* House OKs stopgap budget, Senate expected to agree
* Editorial: 30-day Band Aid needed to keep state from bleeding
* Editorial: If gaming plan is resurrected, make it fair this time
*** UPDATE *** An e-mail from the Comptroller’s office…
Just a note of clarification:
There are 2 school aid payments in June — made on the 10th and 20th of the month. (total $342 million)
There are July school aid payments, but typically they are moved up, and have been again this year. That double payment of $342 million was issued on Monday, 6/25.
In addition, we paid out all the categoricals, typically paid in July, at the end of last week and earlier this week.
The next school aid payment is due Aug. 10th, and it will require a few days processing, so if there is no budget agreement by earlier that week, payments will not be able to move forward.