* This proposal will be filed on two bills. Note extra funding for MAP grants, higher ed and human services. Subscribers already knew about most of this stuff. But it isn’t smooth sailing yet, campers…
The Governor’s stopgap funding plan will serve as a bridge to a comprehensive balanced budget for fiscal year 2017. This plan does not count on enactment of a tax hike or reforms. This plan provides a full year of funding for elementary and secondary education, road construction, federal programs and other non-GRF programs. It also provides funding to support 6 months of critical operations for higher education, state-operated facilities including prisons and veterans’ homes, fuel for the State Police to patrol our roads, and other core operations and programs for public safety, health and welfare. Funds are available under current law for all components of this bridge plan. The plan is contained in two bills: one bill which has K-12 education funding, and a second bill which has all other funding.
For fiscal year 2017 operations, the total package is $50.3 billion. This includes $8.2 billion in general funds, $33.7 billion in other state funds and $8.4 billion federal funds. The FY17 appropriations include:
o K-12 education. The Governor has proposed an increase of over $240 million over this year’s enacted education budget, for a total of $7 billion in general funds. This plan would fully fund the foundation level for the first time in many years, and ensure that all school districts get at least as much as they received in this past school year (a “hold harmless”). This plan does not include a bailout for Chicago Public Schools.
o Higher education funding of $1.0 billion. This is on top of $600 million already approved in FY16. The new funding is from the Education Assistance Fund, at $680 million (which is the amount of money expected to be available in that fund in the first six months of FY17), $200 million from the Fund for the Advancement of Education, $20 million from GRF, and approximately $100 million from the Personal Property Tax Replacement Fund for community colleges.
▪ This plan should ensure that universities are able to open on time and complete the full fall semester.
▪ Community colleges are funded at $114 million, plus funding for adult and career tech and other grants.
▪ Includes $151 million in funding for MAP for spring semester 2016. This goes to public and private colleges, for all students who were awarded MAP grants for the spring semester
▪ Funds the Illinois Math and Science Academy, East St. Louis and Lake County centers and some higher education and community college board operations.
o Funding for critical State government operations with GRF totaling $454 million. This GRF comes from $454 million freed up by removing the requirement to repay interfund borrowing. Also relies on full use of the rainy day fund ($275 million). These resources will be used to cover critical needs at agencies, including:
▪ Utilities, food and medical services at state prisons, mental health centers and veterans’ homes.
▪ Fuel and vehicle repairs for six months for State troopers’ vehicles to ensure public safety and IDOT vehicles to ensure repairs, salt distribution and snow removal.
▪ Funding to continue child support collection.
▪ Continued operations of other key State government services, such as collection of cigarette and other taxes.
▪ No GRF is appropriated for health insurance providers for State and university employees, which has a bill backlog of over $3 billion.
This stopgap funding means that approximately 20% of all State government operations are funded, counting health insurance (or 50% without health insurance.)
o Human services funding of $650 million from the Commitment to Human Services Fund. This is the amount of resources projected to be available in this fund through December 2016. This plan will help cover critical services not being paid under consent decrees or court orders. Includes $35 million in additional human services grants. This funding level means that human services will get over 90% of the amount they typically would get over 18 months when you include spending authorized by court orders.
o Full-year appropriations of federal funds of $8.4 billion. Includes federal funding that goes directly to providers, and takes full advantage of all available federal funds.
o Full-year appropriations of non-GRF/other state funds of $33.2 billion, and capital appropriations of $17.0 billion. This non-GRF funding includes:
▪ Capital appropriations, which will ensure continuation of road and bridge improvements, payment of school construction grants and local water and sewer improvements. Includes new pay-as- you-go IDOT projects, covered by available projected Road Fund revenue. Will allow completion of projects for colleges and key state facilities which were halted in FY16.
▪ Debt service payments for the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority, the Illinois Sports Facilities Authority, and the State’s Civic Center bonds.
▪ Lottery prizes, local government distributions (including motor fuel taxes), low-income heating assistance and other services.
▪ Appropriations of all remaining non-GRF items in FY16 which ends June 30th, generally at the Governor’s estimated level recommended in his fiscal year 2016 budget, totaling $25 billion. Fiscal year 2017 appropriations include language allowing those appropriations to be used to pay FY16 bills, if necessary.
• Spending under consent decrees, court orders, continuing appropriations and statutory transfers will continue in FY17 without enacted appropriations.
*** UPDATE *** The bills have now been filed…
Illinois Republican leaders Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) and Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) filed legislation on Tuesday that would provide a full year of funding for elementary and secondary education, road construction projects and federal programs. It would also provide six months of funding for critical operations for higher education, state-operated facilities (such as prisons and veterans’ homes), public safety, health and welfare.
In total, the funding package introduced totals $50.3 billion for FY17 and another $25 billion to close out FY16. The plan is contained in two identical bills in each chamber, one which contains K-12 education funding (SB 3439, HB 6590) and the other which contains funding for other agencies (SB 3438, HB 6591).
Senate Bill 3439/HB6590 would ensure Illinois schools have funding to open this fall, with an increase of more than $240 million over this year’s enacted education budget, for a total of $7.2 billion in general funds.
“The measure we filed today would fully fund the foundation level for the first time in years, as well as include a ‘hold harmless’ to ensure that all school districts get at least as much as they received in this past school year,” said Radogno. “What this plan does not contain is a bailout for Chicago Public Schools, as Democrat legislators have proposed. Their plan is not acceptable or affordable to the taxpayers of Illinois – particularly in our downstate and suburban communities.”
The Republican leaders’ state agency funding proposal reflects budget items negotiated in the bipartisan, bicameral legislator working groups, in cooperation with the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget.
Higher education funding totals $1 billion, which is on top of the $600 million already approved in Fiscal Year 2016. This measure, if approved, would: ensure that universities are able to open on time and complete a full fall semester; allocate $151 million in funding for MAP grants for the spring semester of 2016; and provide community colleges with $114 million, plus funding for adult career tech and other grants.
Leader Durkin notes that under SB 3438 and HB 6591, funding for critical state government operations would total $729 million, and would help cover critical needs at state agencies, including: utilities, food and medical services at state prisons, mental health centers and veteran’s homes.
“Time is running out with less than three days until the start of a new fiscal year. The citizens of Illinois deserve a balanced negotiated budget that cares for students, the most vulnerable and all Illinoisans. The language in these bills can be amended to active bills in both chambers to meet our Thursday deadline. Those who claim this cannot be completed by then are just plain wrong,” Durkin said.
Under Senate Bill 3438 and HB 6591, $650 million will help cover critical human services not being paid under consent decrees or court orders. This includes $35 million in additional human services grants. This funding level means that human services will get over 90% of the amount they typically would get over 18 months when including spending authorized by court orders.
Full-year appropriations of non-GRF/other state funds of $33.2 billion, and capital appropriations of $17.0 billion, will ensure that: road and bridge improvements can continue; payment of school construction grants and local water and sewer improvements are met; local government distributions are made and funding is allocated for low-income heating assistance and other services.
“We are at a critical point in this budget impasse,” said Radogno. “The time for political posturing has passed — the time to act is now.”
Both the Illinois Senate and House are scheduled to be in session on Wednesday, June 29.