* 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.
* 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