|"Extreme and radical cuts…will starve our schools and result in mass teacher layoffs” – Governor Pat Quinn.
| “If the tax is not passed we will see a doomsday, draconian budget.” – Senate President John Cullerton
| “If these cuts happen, 30,000 college students will lose their MAP grants.” – Senate Majority Leader James Clayborne
|“Eleven correctional centers would have to close and more than 15,000 inmates would have to be released.” – Illinois Department of Corrections Director Tony Godinez
| “Thirty percent of the State Police workforce would lose their jobs.” – Illinois State Police Director Hiram Grau
For months Illinois Democrats painted a picture of draconian, indeed dangerous, cuts if they kept their promise to allow a portion of the 67% 2011 tax hike to expire.
Then, in the final days of the 2014 legislative session they reversed course and passed a budget patched together without those tax revenues.
But, while taxpayers can breathe at least a temporary sigh of relief, no one should be under the illusion that this “no tax” budget was in reality anything close to a responsible budget that forces the state to live within its means.
Rather, it was a Rod Blagojevich-style budget that spends more than the state has and pushes bills and the day of reckoning past the next election.
This FY15 budget is based on a revenue estimate of $35.352 billion and total General Revenue Funds spending is approximately $35.4 billion, allowing Democrats to call the budget “balanced.”
The revenue estimate has been increased by $857 million over the original projection contained in House Joint Resolution 80.
It relies on $650 million in inter-fund borrowing (fund sweeps), $167 million in natural growth over the original Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability estimate, and another $40 million in hospital assessments.
The budget package also includes a $924 million General Funds Fiscal Year 14 supplemental. This supplemental moves $750 million in Fiscal Year 15 costs into Fiscal Year 14, thus freeing up resources to be spent in Fiscal Year 15.
The budget continues the pro-ration of the state’s General State Aid Formula’s foundation level grants for schools, granting schools just 89% of the foundation level.
In fact, since Pat Quinn became Governor, education funding for the state’s elementary and secondary schools has fallen by $621 million (FY 09 – FY 14).
The budget is comprised of eight different bills:
HB 6060 – FY14 Supplemental / FY15 Medicaid Expansion
HB 6093 – State Board of Ed / Educational Labor Relations Board
HB 6094 – Higher Education
HB 6095 – General Services
HB 6096 – Human Services Agencies / Pensions / GHI
HB 6097 – Public Safety
HB 3793 – Capital Construction
HB 3794 - Capital Construction Bond Authorization