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The never-ending mess *** Updated x1 ***

Thursday, Jun 28, 2007

* 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.

Exactly.

* 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.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

5 Comments
  1. - Little Egypt - Thursday, Jun 28, 07 @ 10:49 am:

    Neither requesting nor requiring GoverNOT Speechify to stay in Springfield during OT sessions will work. He listens to very few people, least of which are the legislators.


  2. - Paycheckless? - Thursday, Jun 28, 07 @ 11:15 am:

    Hopefully someone out there can clarify this for me: I know in the past, we’ve gone past the end of the fiscal year without a new budget in place, and as far as I know, there was never any problems with paychecks (at least there wasn’t at my agency). Is this because agencies can still use unexpended monies from the previous fiscal year during the lapse period?


  3. - BIG R.PH. - Thursday, Jun 28, 07 @ 3:46 pm:

    So here is the conundrum:

    We all know that every government department must “spend” every leftover $ before then end of the fiscal year. That process is going on now and will continue through Saturday for the State.

    Now we have a “one month” budget for July. Which month did we base this on? Or did they simply divide by 12 (which would be too simple for these clowns)?

    If they did just divide by 12, do they have to once again go thru the process of “spending” all of the money?

    If a certain department does not spend all the money then can the new budget reflect those lower (and truer) $’s?

    So many questions. So few answers. So fewer people who actually have a clue in State government.


  4. - Budget Watcher - Thursday, Jun 28, 07 @ 6:05 pm:

    A month-to-month budget would be very bad news for social service agencies who do a lot of grants to community-based providers, as there’s no way to plan and execute services on an interim funding basis. Also, some state obligations don’t occur in monthly increments - some are paid quarterly, semi-annually or annually. Who in the GA keeps track of these needs and appropriates accordingly?

    And one last concern…each budget cycle ends with a lapse period to pay for services accrued during a prior fiscal period. So presumably the state would have an August budget with a July 08 lapse period and an FY2007 lapse period occurring simulanteously - what a mess.


  5. - anon - Thursday, Jun 28, 07 @ 9:18 pm:

    tough choices??… Franks did not vote for the Madigan budget…did not vote for the 30 day budget.
    Has he EVER voted for a budget?
    afterall, whats tough about voting “no” and getting the benefits?


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