* Whenever the General Assembly rams through complicated, lengthy legislation in a day or three, it usually takes the media a few more days to catch up…
Under the plan, spending on general state aid to schools would be slashed by $150 million in the final three months of the fiscal year.
The plan does give Rauner access to a $97 million slush fund to dole out to schools who are having trouble making it to the end of the year.
But, there are no guidelines for how that money can be spent.
That has some downstate lawmakers worried the whole thing was designed to allow Rauner to simply funnel the money to Chicago public schools.
According to a spreadsheet I obtained from the Illinois State Board of Education, Chicago is on pace to run short of funds before the fiscal year ends, meaning it could potentially qualify for some of the money.
Stolen vehicle task forces around the state are shutting down offices instead of chop shops as new state budget strategies siphon mandatory insurance fees from police work into the state’s gaping budget hole.
Some of the six auto theft task forces in the state have been around since 1992, one year after statute created a $1-per-policy car insurance fee to fund police teams dedicated to car theft investigations. The money frequently reimbursed salaries for agencies that contributed manpower to the task forces.
But an executive order Gov. Bruce Rauner issued Jan. 12 froze that pool of money, along with hundreds of millions of dollars in other state funds deemed nonessential spending.
The General Assembly approved a measure last week that sweeps more than $1 billion from various accounts into the state’s general fund, including $6 million in auto theft task force grants — roughly a year of income for the groups derived not from tax dollars but from insurance premiums.
Gov. Bruce Rauner’s signed budget fix will end in a $1.7 million cut for Illinois State University in the last months of its fiscal year.
Through the original appropriation bill, ISU was supposed to receive $74 million for this current fiscal year from the state.
According to Chief of Staff Jay Groves, the signed budget cut was about 2.25 percent of the original budget, which brought the budget down to about $72.3 million.