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The governor’s “bridge” plan

Wednesday, Jun 1, 2016

* As we’ve already discussed, the governor is out on the hustings today touting his “Fully Funded Stopgap Budget and Clean Education Bill.” Here’s the outline, which was shared with subscribers yesterday morning

To: Interested Parties
From: Tim Nuding, Director, Governor’s Office of Management & Budget
Date: May 30, 2016
Re: Short Term “Bridge” Appropriations Bill

After fully reviewing SB 2048, the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) has confirmed our initial belief that the full year appropriations contained therein would result in total state general funds spending of $40 billion – making it $7.5 billion out of balance. GOMB continues to recommend a total veto of that unworkable spending plan.

Last week, I urged the General Assembly to focus on a comprehensive balanced budget alongside meaningful reforms to grow our economy. It has become abundantly clear that the legislative majority will not compromise and pass a balanced budget with reforms.

Progressing into Fiscal Year 2017 with no appropriations is not an acceptable alternative as schools must open in the fall, vendor and grantee patience has understandably worn thin and the continued delivery of critical life, health and safety state services would be in jeopardy.

As an option of last resort, the General Assembly should fulfill the Governor’s long-standing request to pass a standalone appropriations bill for PK-12 education and also pass a fiscally responsible appropriations bill that serves as a bridge to keep government functioning and protects the public’s health, welfare and safety.

Taking into account the very latest and disappointing developments in the status of negotiations, GOMB would support the following approach to keep government functioning and to protect the safety of the public during the continued impasse.

This proposal is not designed as a full-year budget. It is designed as a bridge plan that allows schools to open, keeps the lights on, protects public safety and prevents a government shutdown. It is fully funded and therefore fiscally responsible, unlike other potential short-term budget proposals that seek to impose piecemeal out-of-balance budgets for months at a time.

For Fiscal Year 2016:
1. Appropriate the remaining non-GRF line items that have yet to be appropriated in FY16.

    a. Includes funding for homeless programs, domestic violence prevention programs, sexual assault programs, state parks, and the senior citizens real estate tax deferral program.

2. Utilize the balance in the Rainy Day Fund to pay outstanding bills at various state agencies from Fiscal Year 2016.

    a. Funds for utilities, food and medical services at state prisons, mental health centers and veterans homes. These allocations would allow the state to make payments to the many municipal utilities that are owed money.
    b. Funds for postage at agencies such as the Department of Revenue required for revenue collection and tax compliance.

3. Appropriate $458 million from the Commitment to Human Services Fund – the amount estimated to be available in that fund by the end of the fiscal year – to provide payments to human services providers who are not covered by court orders or consent decrees.

For Fiscal Year 2017:
1. Appropriate full year funding for Early Childhood, Elementary & Secondary Education.

    a. Recommend a standalone bill for education.
    b. Full funding of general state aid, no proration.
    c. Additional funds for hold harmless so that no school gets less money through the formula in FY17 than they did in FY16. Allows time to continue to discuss changes to the school aid formula for FY18.
    d. Provides local schools with certainty of full year funding and ensures that all schools open on time in August.

2. Appropriate all federal funds, mirroring what was done in Fiscal Year 2016. This has no impact on the general revenue fund and will allow federal funds to flow directly through to providers, such as child care providers.
3. Appropriate non-GRF line items, including:

    a. appropriations to restart mothballed capital projects in mid construction that were halted due to lack of appropriation authority in Fiscal Year 2016, including projects for public universities and community colleges and including the flood plain buyout program.
    b. appropriations for emergency repairs at state facilities statewide.
    c. appropriations to fund the full road construction program in Fiscal Year 2017, including bridge repair and local government road allocations which are funded predominantly out of motor fuel tax funds and vehicle registration fees.
    d. appropriations to fund the state’s low income heating and energy assistance program.
    e. appropriations for required debt service payments related to Met Pier bonds, Civic Center bonds, and Sports Facilities Authority bonds.
    f. ensure continued food delivery and utility services at our state veterans homes.

4. Appropriate $600 million from the Education Assistance Fund for Higher Education. This is the amount expected to accrue to the Education Assistance Fund over the first six months of fiscal year 2017.

    a. Provides stop-gap funding for public universities and community colleges and the Illinois Math & Science Academy.
    b. Ensures those universities most at risk, including Chicago State University, Western Illinois University and Eastern Illinois University are able to open for and complete the fall semester.

5. Appropriate $180 million from the Commitment to Human Services Fund for payments to human services providers not covered by court orders or consent decrees. This is the amount expected to automatically accrue into this fund in the first six months of Fiscal Year 2017.
6. GRF appropriations of $450 million fully funded by non-repayment of interfund borrowing.

    a. Ensure food vendors get paid to continue food deliveries to our 24 hour residential facilities, including state prisons, state facilities for persons with developmental disabilities, state facilities for persons with mental illness.
    b. Ensure that utilities such as electricity and water services, and medical services continue to be provided to these same facilities.
    c. Ensure that our fuel vendors and vehicle maintenance vendors who provide the services needed to keep our state troopers on the road and keep our Department of Transportation trucks on the road, including salt distribution and snow removal in the winter months.
    d. Ensure that child support payments continue to be provided statewide.
    e. Ensure purchase of cigarette tax stamps so that Illinois can continue to collect cigarette tax revenues.
    f. Provide funding for the Secretary of State to help cover utility costs for critical government facilities.

7. All appropriations for FY17 could include language allowing those appropriations to be used to pay outstanding Fiscal Year 2016 bills, if necessary.

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

38 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 9:54 am:

    ===b. Ensures those universities most at risk, including Chicago State University, Western Illinois University and Eastern Illinois University are able to open for and complete the fall semester.===

    Nothing about this paragraph points to governing.

    “We will keep the hostages alive long enough to make you think twice”.

    Some things read so cold and callous


  2. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 9:56 am:

    –All appropriations for FY17 could include language allowing those appropriations to be used to pay outstanding Fiscal Year 2016 bills, if necessary.–

    I’m guessing that will be necessary, and FY17 will just be piling up a new stack of unpaid bills.

    Looks like non-GRF are off the hostage list.


  3. - Juice - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 9:56 am:

    Remember when the Governor complained about the budget he inherited being under-appropriated? Funny how it only took him a year and a half to propose doing that to himself. And he’s not even up for election himself.


  4. - Anon221 - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 9:58 am:

    Posted on another thread, but very applicable here:

    If this is the road taken- Stopgap including all those in the 10% signed, sealed, and delivered by Rauner, and then, and ONLY then, the K-12 “stopgap”. Don’t reverse the order of passage and signing. If K-12 is placed first, the Stopgap can easily become irrelevant to Rauner, and the Kool-Aid takes on a different taste.


  5. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 10:05 am:

    It’s like the hostage taker yelling “All these people are going to die unless you bring 20 pizza’s and 2 liter bottles of soda. If you forget the breadsticks this time I’ll shoot one of the hostages. Oh, make that 19 pizza’s. A couple of hostages already died. But remember what I really want is the dismantling and submission of ALL labor. Then we’ll talk. In the meantime, get those pizzas in the oven. I should have had them yesterday!”


  6. - Trolling Troll - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 10:07 am:

    What a joke. Put all the TA in a bill with a tax increase. Let them vote on it. Time to put the cards in the table.


  7. - RIJ - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 10:08 am:

    Ugh. Rauner, do your job and present a real budget without poison pills.

    What a failure as a governor!


  8. - Norseman - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 10:14 am:

    Don’t pass a full year k-12 bill if you’re doing a stopgap budget. There needs to be pressure to force a comprehensive deal.


  9. - realworld - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 10:15 am:

    Why in the world are they even considering opening State Parks and having a State Fair. Close the Parks and cancel the State Fairs. Go Bruce.


  10. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 10:15 am:

    =b. Full funding of general state aid, no proration.
    c. Additional funds for hold harmless so that no school gets less money through the formula in FY17 than they did in FY16. Allows time to continue to discuss changes to the school aid formula for FY18.=

    MCAT’s?


  11. - Triple fat - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 10:16 am:

    Is there away to fund only public schools? I still insist that the main reason the Governor wants K-12 funding is to keep tax dollars flowing to the Charter Schools so that they in turn dole out our tax dollars to the private equity firms. Private equity has most Charters leveraged so badly that a hiccup in State fundin would cause their collapse. Let them get in line like all of the other State vendors.


  12. - East Central Illinois - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 10:18 am:

    @ JS Mills

    I have a bad feeling that Rauner is planning on not paying any MCATS at all; that he will just use MCAT monies to pay for the full funding of GSA - thus back to square one.


  13. - realworld - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 10:20 am:

    Looks like there is going to be a lot of new faces in Springfield after November. Keep up the Good work Bruce.


  14. - Honeybear - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 10:20 am:

    That being said we need to keep those hostages alive.


  15. - Old Shepherd - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 10:21 am:

    ==Why in the world are they even considering opening State Parks and having a State Fair.==

    My daughters’ scheduled first day back to school is during the Illinois State Fair. It will be maddeningly ironic if the school doesn’t open and the fair goes on.


  16. - realworld - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 10:23 am:

    Are we still paying for the World Shooting Complex? That should already have been sold.


  17. - Triple fat - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 10:26 am:

    It should have read a way to fund…


  18. - realworld - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 10:29 am:

    Everyone should call there elected officials and ask them if they support having a State Fair that has lost millions of dollars every year when we can not pay our bills. If they support the state fairs tell them that you will be voting against them.


  19. - Stuck on the 3rd Floor - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 10:40 am:

    So, per 6f, they have identified critical *facilities*, but not critical *employees*? Paying to keep the lights on isn’t much good if you can’t pay the employees using those lights.


  20. - Triple fat - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 10:54 am:

    Stuck… Don’t forget those Critical Employees will command 8.25 an hour!


  21. - Federalist - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 11:04 am:

    Rauner is Governor whether many of us like it or not- and I don’t.

    However, the GA should pass a budget that at least closely resembles something that is balanced. Right now he has the reason/excuse to ignore the GA and continue his usual litany of
    complaints.

    While doing this they should ignore his so-called turn around agenda which is primarily union busting.

    Would not be too surprised that even if he were presented a balanced budget he would continue to stall and let the state deteriorate. To me he is more about union busting than anything else.

    So put a balanced budget (not easy and would be painful) on his desk and see what happens. If he does not go along then attack!


  22. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 11:05 am:

    - Federalists -

    Article VIII, Section 2, (a).


  23. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 11:10 am:

    Nothing for MAP?


  24. - Joe M - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 11:12 am:

    So is the $600 million from the Education Assistance Fund for higher education considered FY 16 appropriations to higher ed - or FY17 appropriations? I fear that somewhere in this shell game higher ed is facing HUGE permanent cuts for both FYs.


  25. - hisgirlfriday - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 11:15 am:

    What about this mess justifies cleaning out the rainy day fund?

    This isnt a rainy day problem. There’s no short term economic recession or massive storm messing stuff up the state’s finances. It’s just lack of compromise and political will. That’s it.


  26. - RDB - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 11:15 am:

    There doesn’t seem to be any mention of FY15. Does anyone know if FY15 unpaid bills have been incorporated into FY 16 budget? I have a hospital bill from November 2014 that still has not been paid by State Employees Group Insurance .


  27. - Jacketpotato - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 11:16 am:

    Is it me, or are some of the hostages now Rauner hostages? Meaning schools, parks, State Fair, etc are next. When they go, they are going to hurt Rauner more than the social service hostages.


  28. - Anon - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 11:16 am:

    ===balanced budget (not easy and would be painful) on his desk===

    Federalist, you must not be a regular reader. At this point, to balance the budget it would require eliminating almost all of the state’s “discretionary” spending, and require significant cuts to K-12 education.

    What you’re asking is for the Democrats to propose and pass a budget that completely eliminates funding for higher education and a whole slue of other programs that impact hundreds of thousands of people.

    If the governor wants that budget, he can go ahead and propose it like the Constitution says he is supposed to.


  29. - JS Mill - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 11:41 am:

    A real balanced budget would include an appropriation level that pays down to zero the entire backlog of unpaid bills.

    That might require something like $9 billion in new revenue alone.


  30. - walker - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 11:43 am:

    Wordslinger, as usual, caught a key point — a lot of these funds, newly available in fiscal 2017, will have to be used to pay down fiscal 2016 past due bills. It’s a “bridge” to the past. We obviously need more than this between now and year end.


  31. - Thoughts Matter - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 11:44 am:

    Don’t pass k-12 until the rest of a budget is passed and signed. Negotiate like Rauner - he doesn’t understand anything else.

    Stop playing games Governor. Come back off the campaign trail, present a realistic budget, apologize for not realizing we needed those taxes, and give Madigan the respect he earns every day.


  32. - Anotheretiree - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 11:45 am:

    Looks like another year of waiting on the dental reimbursement….the interest accumulates


  33. - Federalist - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 4:18 pm:

    Anon,

    Yes it would require ‘cuts’ at least in terms of what the Democrats want. There is presently enough revenue for about 89% of the ‘proposed’ budget. That is not to say that the proposed budget by the Democrats is somehow sacrosanct.

    As a regular reader you should know this.


  34. - Federalist - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 4:20 pm:

    @Oswego Willy,

    A CUTE response but no cigar.


  35. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 4:28 pm:

    - Federalist -

    Cute? The constitution has been called pesky, but not cut and that Article, Section and “(a)” is a requirement.

    Nothing cute about it… and “a” comes before “b”


  36. - RNUG - Wednesday, Jun 1, 16 @ 10:12 pm:

    You are not going to get a balanced budget until someone steps up and puts a tax increase in bill form, and then PUBLICLY sells it. Nobody in the legislature is going to put a tax increase on the board until Rauner BEGS for it and starts selling it.

    That is where we are at today …


  37. - Last Bull Moose - Thursday, Jun 2, 16 @ 3:08 am:

    RNUG is right.

    Without revenue, this is a bridge to nowhere.


  38. - cdog - Thursday, Jun 2, 16 @ 10:01 am:

    “Utilize the balance in the Rainy Day Fund”

    What happens if it rains, then floods, and multi-vortex tornados? Sure wouldn’t want these dudes’ financial values in my house. Spend it all baby, who needs an extra job (revenue)?

    “…the continued delivery of critical life, health and safety state services would be in jeopardy.”
    I guess there is a first for everything. Didn’t think this was is in the Arduin Powerpoint.

    “…appropriations for emergency repairs at state facilities statewide.”

    It seems that things must be getting a little smelly….

    Two year balanced budget. Time to close the deal.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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