IL budget passed for 2016 fiscal year nearly $4 billion in the hole

IL budget nearly $4 billion in the hole

ILLINOIS (KFVS) - House Speaker Mike Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton and their caucuses passed a budget for the 2016 fiscal year beginning July 1 that is nearly $4 billion in the hole.

With the upcoming budget deficit more than double that of last year, a mid-year solution is not a possibility at this time. The administration must immediately begin taking steps to manage state spending.

Illinois lawmakers will meet in a special session beginning next week to continue talks on the state budget.

Below are some of the steps the administration initiated on June 2 to begin balancing the budget. More steps will be announced as they are finalized.

Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity

Effective immediately

  • Immediate suspension of all future incentive offers to companies for business attraction and retention. This includes EDGE Tax Credits, Large Business Attraction Grants, Employer Training Investment Program Incentive Grants and Prime Sites Grants
  • Will defer application approvals for film tax credits and High Impact Business designations
  • All commitments previously made in any of these programs will be honored

Action initiated

  • Prepare and provide notice for the July 1 suspension of the State Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program
  • The federal portion of the program, funded at about $170 million, will continue

Department of Transportation

Effective immediately

  • In light of the state's current fiscal crisis and lack of sufficient capital resources, the Illiana Expressway will not move forward at this time. As a result, the Illinois Department of Transportation will remove the project from its current multi-year plan. It is the determination of IDOT that the project costs exceed currently available resources. The department will begin the process of suspending all existing project contracts and procurements

Action initiated

  • Beginning July 1, the department will "ground" all state plane passenger service. Planes will be maintained and available for emergency services

Department of Juvenile Justice

Action initiated

  • Begin the process of identifying one or two juvenile correctional facilities for closure
  • Juvenile system has a surplus of capacity. Capacity is approximately 1,200 beds, with less than 700 occupied

Department of Corrections

Action initiated

  • Begin the process of closing Hardin County work camp. Approximately 180 inmates will be moved
  • Approximately 60 work camp staff affected

After Gov. Rauner's announcement on the closure of the Hardin County work camp, Rep. Brandon Phelps said he will keep fighting to protect the jobs of the 66 correctional officers impacted and to reopen the facility.

The work camp is a satellite facility of the larger Shawnee Correctional Center. It is known for its construction occupations class, which builds and donates them to charities.

The work camp has partnered with such organizations as Habitat for Humanity and Lutheran Social Services. The camp primarily covers Hardin, Saline and Gallatin Counties.

"Arguing that we need to shut the doors and lay people because the place needs some repairs is like saying 'let's amputate your foot because you stubbed your toe,'" Phelps said. "I'm willing to sit down and work with the governor to find a solution, but threatening the jobs of workers in southern Illinois is reckless and he's playing politics with people's livelihoods."

According to the governor's office, the facility needed to be closed because repairs after a recent fire in the work camp's kitchen were too expensive.

Department of Healthcare and Family Services

Action Initiated

  • Implement an audit review of nursing home reimbursements to ensure payments comply with recently implemented new rate structure
  • Recover overpayments to nursing homes and implement financial penalties for improper billings

Illinois State Police

Action initiated

  • Immediately freeze all vehicle purchases

Department of aging

Action initiated

  • File emergency rules to enact means testing to Aging's Community Care Program. No income limit currently exists
  • Increase the Determination of Need Score required to obtain services through Aging's Community Care Program

Department of Human Services

Action initiated

  • DHS will pursue cost control strategies through emergency rules to the Childcare Program: Increase copays for parents using the program and freeze intake and created waiting lists
  • DHS will also begin background checks for relatives providing child care. Background checks are currently required for child care licensed centers, group homes and non-relatives who provide care

Department of Natural Resources

Action initiated

  • Department will not award Open Space Land Acquisition Development Grants in FY16
  • Department will begin the process to suspend operations and close the five state museums to visitors. The state will continue to maintain and secure the museums to protect the artifacts and exhibits

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