SPRINGFIELD – Governor Rauner today vetoed legislation that falsely promised MAP grant recipients their educational funding. The Governor has long warned that legislation from the General Assembly without a proper way to pay for it could not be approved.

Rep. Frese stated, “The majority party insincerely sent the Governor legislation that promised MAP grant funding, without the funding. They seem to believe that the Governor will stray from his promise to taxpayers to ensure that state spending is done with a proper spending plan. Not only this, but Democrats refused a hearing for House Bill 4539, which offered a funding mechanism for not only MAP grants, but also community colleges and public universities. If they want to continue to play political games, they should take our state’s young minds and the institutions and scholarships that educate them out of their deceitful process.”

Rep. Frese hopes to see MAP grants given their proper funding mechanism, as just yesterday Governor Rauner suggested the General Assembly pass a clean education bill to show good faith to Illinois’ School Districts.
SPRINGFIELD – State Representative Randy Frese (R-Paloma) watched Governor Rauner discuss his plans to still bring the balanced budget he promised taxpayers, while prioritizing education in a call for a clean bill, without the attachment of disagreed upon issues, in order to get education funding to school districts right away.

Rep. Frese stated, “The Governor has maintained that he will keep his original promise to balance the budget, and he is hopeful we can still do this by working together across party lines. I stand with his priority to get a clean bill passed by the General Assembly that funds schools in the coming school year, and leaves our children and their schools out of the budgetary impasse.

“Today the Governor laid out two plans for balancing the budget. One involves working together on a comprehensive approach, and the other involves him being given the executive power to draw the balances himself. Either way, we need to act, and once the Democrats get serious about planning a properly balanced budget, we can begin an inter-related process of structurally reforming the budget to boost economic growth and drive down costs.

“What I want right now is an education bill that I can bring home to my District, so our schools are taken out of the process. Then we can begin discussing reforms that will benefit our hardworking taxpayers and our budget processes for years to come.”
 

 

Budget – Comptroller’s Report

·         Comptroller Munger warns of $6.2 billion price for budget gridlock.  In a report to Illinois residents on Tuesday, February 2, the Illinois Comptroller projected that Illinois will fall $6.2 billion further behind on its “unpaid bills” in FY16 unless a solution to the budget crisis can be found.  Leslie Munger’s office oversees the cash flows of Illinois state government, particularly the “general funds” cash flows that are at the heart of the current crisis.  Many of these cash flows are related to State-financed health care, education, and other government services classified as essential.

In her statement, Comptroller Munger pointed out that Illinois has entered the eighth month of fiscal year 2016 (FY16) without a balanced budget to control State spending.  During the course of this fiscal year, based upon current cash flows, general funds tax receipts are falling approximately $5.0 billion short of the monies that came in last year.  At the same time, mandated State spending – even without a budget – means that cash is going out at a rate approximately $1.2 billion ahead of last year.  The combination of these two categories, cash in and cash out, adds up to Munger’s $6.2 billion figure.

State of Illinois spending has actually sped up in FY16 over FY15 because of the existence of a network of interlocked court decisions, consent decrees, and continuing appropriations that bind Illinois and privilege a series of categories of social spending above the statutory appropriations powers of the State. Health care spending, particularly Medicaid spending, makes up a large percentage of this cash push.    

Winter in Illinois

·         Illinois flood damage being assessed.  Officials with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are getting ready to conduct damage assessments in sections of southern Illinois hit hard by the flooding that began in late December.  Illinois must post at least $18 million in storm-related damage to homes and businesses to be eligible for certain federal funds.  The assessors will look at locations within Alexander County, centering on far-southern Cairo, and historic Randolph County, centering on Chester.  Both counties border the lower Mississippi River, which was swelled by a record fall of rain and sleet on southern Illinois and much of Missouri in the days immediately following Christmas.  The Show-Me State, across the Mississippi from Cairo and Chester, has already been approved for federal disaster relief funds.