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Drilling further into the budget

Tuesday, Feb 28, 2012

* The long and short of this is that the state is once again skipping its last payment to local school districts

Gov. Pat Quinn likes to refer to himself as the “education governor,” but the state’s continued money problems are putting that moniker under intense pressure.

The state is short more than $230 million in aid to school districts in this year’s budget, and that figure could climb to more than $400 million in next year’s spending plan.

In the near term, the practical effect is that the state will fall short of making its 22nd and final annual payment to school districts. That’s usually made in the last half of June. The payment in the first half of June also will be slightly smaller, according to the Illinois State Board of Education.

The situation has angered a key education supporter who called Quinn’s assertion last week that he was holding education spending flat next year “total baloney.”

Jim Edgar also did this back in the day in order to disguise an education funding cut.

* Meanwhile, automatic cost of living raises are in the budget

Governor Quinn would see his salary jump $1,600 to $179,100 under the proposal.

Secretary of State Jesse White would see his salary jump $1,400 to $158,000.

Treasurer Dan Rutherford would see his salary jump $1,200 to $136,900.

Collectively, the members of the Illinois House would get a $73,200 raise. That breaks out to about $620 for each member.

For the Illinois Senate, members would get a collective raise of $37,200. That breaks out to $630 for each member.

When you add up all of the proposed raises, the total comes out to almost $250,000 more than what was spent on salaries in FY12.

It’s more than $968,000 higher than what was spent in FY11.

* Related…

* ADDED: Hospitals, state unlikely to make Thursday deadline on charity-care tax-exemption talks - Sources say parties divided on key issues, but progress being made; stakeholders from Illinois Hospital Association, Gov. Quinn’s office, Department of Revenue, others plan last-ditch meeting Wednesday

* ADDED: Illinois coalition has hospital charity care plan

* ADDED: State Seeks To Settle Issue Of Nonprofit Hospitals, Property Tax Exemptions

* ADDED: Proposals arise for Illinois hospital charity care

* Closing youth lockups applauded

* Tollway to webcast bid openings

* City launches $11 million plan to combat problems in minority contracts program

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 9:54 am:

    You know what? No elected officials should get raises until the state pays what it owes to my friend Ellen’s social service agency so she can go back to working a 40 hour week.

  2. - bored on1 - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 9:59 am:

    Three years since I had a raise. Gas goes up, groceries go up, but thank God our Governor can afford to live. The man is a hypocrite. I saw the picture on SJ-R today of the Jacksonville Developmental Center…they dont need the money, but the Governor sure does. And so do all our elected officials. God help Illinois.

  3. - Retired Non-Union Guy - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 10:03 am:

    Minority contract programs have always been scammed. I remember when guys used to put their business ownership (at least 51%) in their wives’ names so they could bid as a ‘minority business’.

  4. - mark walker - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 10:03 am:

    Drill, baby, drill!

  5. - TCB - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 10:06 am:

    Good catch, Rich.

    Very few people across the state understand what goes into the General State Aid calculation, and I won’t claim to be one of them. But taken from ISBE’s website, one can clearly see that while the appropriated GSA amount is indeed held flat, it results in a deeper pro-ration to school districts. It appears that in FY12 the districts will be getting about 95% (or 22.8 GSA payments, rather than 24) of what they are actually entitled too, due to insufficient appropriation authority. However, in FY13 to maintain that same appropriation level the state would be forced to pro-rate GSA payments at like 92% (or 22.08 payments of their 24 payments).

  6. - TCB - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 10:18 am:

    @bored on1

    Maybe you should find something to do, then you wouldn’t be bored & you might even get a raise 

    But seriously, I’m curious to see if they raises are applied to all merit comp staff or just these leaders. In my opinion, MC employees need & deserve a raise in FY13, so if the proposal includes that I’m fine with the big dogs getting a little bump too.

  7. - Irish - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 10:18 am:

    PQ is a hypocrite, and so are the GA members that accept raises when state employees under contract that made concessions in exchange for not losing their raises, don’t get theirs.

  8. - Shock & Awww(e) - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 10:22 am:

    Raises of any sort? Seriously? Come on, PQ.

    That $250,000 may seem like small change, but that small change could cover some of the cuts proposed in this budget.

    I liked the speech. Starting to question the “plan”. And the priorities.

  9. - mark walker - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 10:28 am:

    It may be in the budget proposal, but I doubt the legislators will actually take a raise, since they have voted against their own increases for the last three years.

  10. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 10:30 am:

    –Quinn’s office said he is not directly proposing the raises.

    A spokeswoman said they’re in place because of a law passed previously by the General Assembly to adjust for the standards of living. –

    It’s an easy fix. Some group of ’shrooms should hit the Blue Room (is that gone now?) with a bill to change the law. Make enough noise and it will go away.

  11. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 10:31 am:

    ===should hit the Blue Room (is that gone now?)===

    Yes. It’s gone.

  12. - RetiredStateEmployee - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 10:35 am:

    They didn’t appropriate enough to cover a labor contract, just don’t appropriate enough to cover the law. PQ would have to go along with that.

  13. - Louie - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 10:49 am:

    How many house and senate members are not taking a raise or they are giving back part of the raise or donating part of the pay to charity?
    Now, that would be interesting to know.

  14. - TCB - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 10:56 am:

    Louie, As Mark pointed out above, the members have voted to keep their own pay flat for the last 3 years (even taking small cuts, through furlough days).

    However, it should be noted that most Merit Comp employees of the state took 36 furlough days in FY10 & FY11 combined. To think that these employees have not done more than their fair share of the sacrifice would be silly.

  15. - Shock & Awww(e) - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 11:01 am:

    Has PQ refused teh raises as well?

  16. - Just Because - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 11:10 am:

    being merti comp it has been over 9 years I havent had a raise of any kind. No leadership!

  17. - Dooley Dudright - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 11:12 am:

    Ratcheting down school aid. Backing off bus funding.

    Oh, and talking openly now of palming off pension costs onto local districts.

    In the face of all of this — PQ and the GA have the temerity to mouth platitudes about their steadfast support for public education in this state.

    Puh-leeze. Puh-LEEZE!

  18. - Dirty Red - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 11:16 am:

    Remember the “Don’t panic, it’s only a bill,” post series last week? Same thing applies to these salary increases. Increases are included in every budget and are based on BLS’ recommendations from the December before. These raises are actually lower than past years (1% or less versus the usual 2%).

    I agree with Mark: How many can accept these raises during a remap year?

  19. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 11:25 am:

    With Illinois “Bankrupt” … Is Treasurer Rutherford going to take that COLA?

    I am waiting for the press pop …”Illinois is in terrible shape, actually bankrupt.”

    “Treasurer, did you take that COLA increase last fiscal year when Illinois was ‘bankrupt’?”

    “Illinois is Bankrupt!”

    “Thank you, Treasurer Rutherford.”

    Turn the monies back … to your office!

    If not, don’t grandstand about “part of the problem …” when accepting the raise IS part of the problem, even if its just a COLA increase.

    I look forward to Treasurer Rutherford turning down the COLA increase.

  20. - mokenavince - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 12:06 pm:

    The part timers line their pockets with raises while the average State worker gets laid -off.
    Wages should be reduced by at least 25% to lawmakers.

  21. - Shock & Awww(e) - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 12:46 pm:

    PQ is not exactly helpless here.

    He should be the one pointing this issue out and leading the way, not waiting for reporters to notice and then providing meek explanations.

  22. - TCB - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 1:04 pm:


    Exactly! The Governor needs to stand up for himself & his state-wide management staff. The way the state has operated the last 8-9 years has driven good people into the union & caused good managers to leave the state entirely.

    People always talk about state government being a cushy place to work, but you don’t exactly see a rush of all these unemployed private sector people busting down the doors to work for the state. That’s because the truth is, it sucks working for the state in a management position and people know it whether they want to admit it or not.

  23. - Rudy - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 1:12 pm:

    Memo to pols: don’t let that automatic pay raise machine slap you around. Give back those $600 COLAs to State coffers and hold press conferences. Best bang for your buck in an election year. If the COLAs enrage this many relatively sophisticated commenters here, think about their impact on less informed voters.

  24. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 1:48 pm:

    ===It’s an easy fix. Some group of ’shrooms should hit the Blue Room (is that gone now?) with a bill to change the law.===

    Except that it could not take effect until after the next election.

    Illinois Constitution:
    Officers of the Executive Branch shall be paid salaries established by law and shall receive no other compensation for their services. Changes in the salaries of these officers elected or appointed for stated terms shall not take effect during the stated terms.

  25. - Not that Clark - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 3:13 pm:

    To heck with the school kiddies and social service providers, Illinois exists to provide Carol “Spike” Ronen, Art Berman, Dawn Netsch et al six figure pensions and guaranteed colas.

  26. - Don't Worry About the Government - Tuesday, Feb 28, 12 @ 5:32 pm:

    The way GSA calculations are made have changed dramatically over the past decade due to PTELL and changes in the Poverty Grant. Every cost projection for these changes that I have looked at have been low-balled so much that it is a wonder that they weren’t caught or called on it.

    If I were a legislator and EFAB gave me a cost projection I would, at least, double that number to get a real handle on what the actual cost to the state would be.

  27. - TCB - Wednesday, Feb 29, 12 @ 8:14 am:

    EFAB’s recommended foundation level like $3000 higher than what the state has been funding. That means these legislators would have to come up with like $2B more money…..that’s pretty much impossible.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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