All Articles Tagged "state budget"
(Chicago News Cooperative) – Gov. Pat Quinn set a chain of political finger-pointing in motion Thursday when he announced the closing of seven state facilities and the layoffs of 1,900 employees because of insufficient revenue. Quinn said the General Assembly was to blame for the cuts, while lawmakers blamed Quinn, Republicans blamed Democrats and Democrats blamed the economy. The next several months will determine whose message sticks—and whether the closures actually happen—but reams of competing press releases do not change the fact that Illinois is broke. After a 67 percent personal income tax increase in January, Illinois still has a stack of 138,000 unpaid bills totaling $3.8 billion, according to the state comptroller’s office.
(Chicago Sun Times) — Gov. Pat Quinn’s aides discussed the possibility of laying off nearly all the state’s parole officers and axing so many tax collectors that revenues would fall by $800 million over three years as they searched for ways to live within the tight budget approved by legislators, a budget official said Wednesday. Programs that would move more than 1,000 people with disabilities and mental illness into community care were also considered for cuts, said Kelly Kraft, assistant director of Quinn’s budget office. She said the Democratic governor is not proposing the reductions but that they were merely raised as possibilities when aides were brainstorming. She acknowledged the ideas were shared with the General Assembly as recently as Tuesday. The fact that such painful and probably unpopular cuts were considered suggests the scope of the problem facing Quinn.
(Businessweek) — In Illinois, you’re never too big or too small to get stiffed by the man. The strapped state government, awash in debt, is now $4 billion behind in paying its bills. At least 8,000 businesses, charities, and state agencies have been waiting patiently—or not—for the state to scrape together enough money to settle up. IBM (IBM) is hoping to see $1.1 million for equipment and services it provided the government.Office Depot (ODP) is out $660,955. And the 17th Street Bar & Grill in downstate Sparta, Ill., is sitting on a $340.52 tab. At least 114 companies are due more than $1 million. To put the mess in perspective, the backlog is larger than Delaware’s entire $3.5 billion budget.
(Chicago Tribune) – Gov. Pat Quinn took aim at hospitals and school transportation late Thursday in cutting $376 million from the state budget lawmakers sent him. The idea is to take part of those savings and any increase in revenue from a hoped-for economic recovery to provide more money for education and jump-start a stalled borrowing plan that would whittle down the state’s multibillion-dollar backlog of overdue bills, administration officials said.
(AP) — The House has voted to cut Texas public school funding by $4 billion. Voting largely along party lines, lawmakers approved the cuts Sunday on a 84-63 vote in the Republican-controlled House. The Senate was still debating the bill late Sunday night.
(New York Times) — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Monday that he would support allowing the flagship campuses of the State University of New York to charge higher tuition than the rest of the system, a stance that could pit him against fellow Democrats who worry that lower-income students could be priced out of the top schools. The governor said he would support a State University proposal to set a five-year schedule of tuition increases at all SUNY undergraduate campuses, and would allow the four research campuses — at Albany, Binghamton, Buffalo and Stony Brook — to propose their own, higher undergraduate tuition increases, subject to legislative approval. “There is no cookie cutter,” Mr. Cuomo said at a news conference. “Some may decide that they need to increase tuition; some may decide they don’t. We’re trying to flip the model.” Under the new model, he said, “we’re not going to tell you what to do.”
(Wall Street Journal) — Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka warned Wednesday that the state is on track to end its fiscal year June 30 with $8.3 billion in unpaid obligations. ”You can’t kick this can down the road anymore,” Ms. Topinka said in an interview, adding that both Democrats and Republicans are to blame for ignoring the state’s fiscal problems for years. Illinois has 208,635 overdue bills—totaling $4.52 billion—owed to schools, hospitals, social-service agencies and businesses, for services they’ve already provided, said Ms. Topinka, a Republican. In addition, the state has $3.8 billion in other obligations coming due, including another $1 billion in current-year bills expected to arrive after June 30. State agencies are expected to submit bills for $1.2 billion in employee health-insurance costs, she said. Illinois also will owe $850 million for corporate tax refunds and $750 million for debt payments.
(Washington Post) — Prince George’s County has averted, at least for now, a money crisis that many officials feared would trickle down from Maryland’s budget woes. As Prince George’s leaders tallied their victories and calculated their losses from this year’s legislative session in Annapolis, the county’s 127,000-student school system appeared to have been the greatest beneficiary. During the General Assembly’s 90-day session, which ended at midnight Monday, the county school system won back about $14 million of a $20 million cut proposed by Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) and obtained about $35 million for new construction. The county government also emerged with much of its wish list intact, although it will have to shoulder new expenses totaling as much as $14 million that the state is pushing down to localities.
(AJC) — House and Senate negotiators approved a budget for the upcoming fiscal year that cuts college funding and borrows from Medicaid to fund shortfalls in the teacher and employee retirement systems. Negotiators signed off on the deal this morning. The $18.3 billion spending plan now heads to the House and Senate for a final vote before going to Gov. Nathan Deal for his signature. The budget for fiscal 2012, which begins July 1, mostly follows the proposal Deal made in January.
(Wall Street Journal) — After crossing the budget line with remarkable ease with the on-time passage of a $132.5 billion spending plan, Gov. Andrew Cuomo now may have to break a sweat. A batch of issues that have long simmered in the statehouse—but were moved to the back burner during budget talks —are about to flare. Some, like a cap on local property taxes and the battle over gay marriage, are among the most high-profile of Mr. Cuomo’s unmet campaign promises. Others, like the debate over rent regulations, are urgent priorities for lawmakers. All of them are converging in the last three months of the legislative session. In other words, after winning in checkers, Mr. Cuomo is moving on to chess. Gay advocates and lawmakers say they expect the governor to unveil a same-sex marriage bill sometime this month. The Assembly has voted to legalize gay marriage twice already. The Senate, under Democratic control in 2009, rejected the measure.