* The Democrats started moving a MAP grant bill yesterday. The governor’s office doesn’t like it and is proposing an alternative, as well as calling out legislators who voted against the original appropriation last year…
From: Director Tim Nuding, Governor’s Office of Management and Budget
To: Members of the General Assembly
Date: January 28, 2016
Re: GOMB Analysis of SB 2043 and HB 4539/SB 2349
House Amendment 2 to SB 2043 would make appropriations of $721 million for the Monetary Award Program (MAP) and community colleges programs. The funding levels for these programs are the same as those contained in last year’s General Assembly-passed unbalanced budget, which was opposed by Representatives Drury, Franks, Nekritz and Yingling along with all Republican legislators and which was vetoed by the Governor.
House Amendment 2 to SB 2043 provides no funding source to pay for the additional spending as it is not tied to spending reductions, revenue or cost-saving reforms. The Governor’s Office of Management and Budget concludes that House Amendment 2 to SB 2043 would add $721 million to the deficit, increase the state’s bill backlog by the same and delay state payments to providers, vendors and contractors. Therefore, GOMB would recommend the Governor veto this legislation if it came to his desk.
HB 4539/SB 2349, on the other hand, would appropriate $1.6 billion dollars for all programs included in SB 2043 and Illinois’ public universities. The legislation is tied to another bill, HB 4521/SB 2338, which would grant the Governor authority to respond to an unbalanced budget by reallocating funds and reducing spending in various ways.
HB 4539/SB 2349’s approach is far more fiscally responsible than SB 2043 as it would help MAP students, community colleges and universities without exploding the deficit, skyrocketing the bill backlog or exacerbating the state’s cash flow crisis. Therefore, GOMB would recommend the Governor sign this legislation if it came to his desk with HB 4521/SB 2338.
* From HB 4521’s synopsis…
Creates the Unbalanced Budget Response Act. Provides authority and procedures for the Governor to establish contingency reserves of previously appropriated funds, and to transfer balances between special funds in the State treasury and the General Revenue Fund. Describes the agencies and programs subject to this authority. Provides that designated agencies may adopt emergency rules to carry out the purposes of the Act. Defines terms. Provides that the Act is repealed on July 1, 2017. Amends the Illinois Administrative Procedure Act to make conforming changes. Amends the Illinois Public Aid Code. Adds actions taken under the Unbalanced Budget Response Act to a Section relating to applicability. Amends the State Mandates Act to require implementation without reimbursement by the State. Effective immediately.
The state’s Road Fund and some others would be exempt from the sweeps provision.
That bill gives the governor a whole lot of control, which the GA may not be inclined to do since the majority doesn’t actually trust him, but it would help him avoid a complete budgetary meltdown.
*** UPDATE *** Tribune…
Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said the governor will veto the bill when it reached his desk. Ahead of the vote, Rauner’s budget chief sent a memo to lawmakers warning that if the measure became law, it would force the comptroller to put off payments for other services.
Democrats were not deterred, quickly passing the bill in both the House and Senate. Two Democrats voted against the bill, Rep. Scott Drury of Highwood and Rep. Jack Franks of Marengo. Eight Republicans voted “present,” a way to avoid looking like they voted against funding for schools without bucking Rauner. […]
While Democrats were able to pass the legislation, it’ll be a tougher battle to override a Rauner veto. On Wednesday, Madigan acknowledged he does not have a “working” supermajority, a reference to the difficulties he’s had in wrangling all 71 of his Democratic members to remain united to override vetoes.