We began hearing that the grants had been restored around noon today. Some grant
providers including The Autism Program got a call from the Governor’s office and others
received calls from local legislators.
Your advocacy to restored the grants paid off but we have a huge problem with the Fiscal
Year 2016 budget.
Take a minute and enjoy this victory!
Story from the Chicago Tribune below.
Gov. Bruce Rauner plans to restore about $26 million in grant cuts
Gov. Bruce Rauner plans to restore approximately $26 million in grant cuts for services
ranging from autism treatment to burial services for the poor after a new revenue forecast
estimates the state is expected to bring in more money this year than initially anticipated.
Rauner’s first 100 days: Is the governor on track or off the rails?The move comes after
weeks of hearings by Democratic lawmakers to put a continued public focus on the cuts,
which the Rauner administration made quietly on Good Friday ahead of the Easter holiday weekend. Democrats contended the $26 million in trims went above and beyond an earlier
agreement to cut $300 million and sweep special funds in an effort to close a $1.6 billion
shortfall in the budget year that ends June 30.
Rauner administration officials countered they were upfront about the possibility that more
cuts might be needed. The spending plan the Republican governor inherited in January
was out-of-whack after Democrats last year approved a budget that didn’t have enough
money to pay for 12 months of state government services.
Speaker Madigan wants closer look at Rauner budget cuts
Now the legislature’s bipartisan Commission on Government Forecasting and
Accountability says an additional $300 million to $500 million in tax revenue is expected to
roll in above previous forecasts, largely because Illinois’ economy is performing better.
Dan Long, the agency’s executive director, said the money is a “one-time” bump made
available after tax returns were filed, and it appears to be the result of capital gains from
the stock market performing better than expected.
Here’s how that windfall is expected to impact the state budget
The Rauner administration says it plans to use some of the money to restore the $26
million in Good Friday cuts. Aides said providers should see the money within the next
month, but not before some programs had to shut down completely, including the state
hotline to help smokers who want to quit. Autism treatment programs and one to cover
the costs of burying the poor are among those in line to have their funding restored.
•The additional money means no further cuts are likely in the current budget year that
ends June 30, Rauner aides said.
Rauner cuts deepen budget divide at Capitol•Staying in place will be the $300 million in
cuts the Rauner administration and state lawmakers agreed to in late March to fix the
current budget. Rauner aides said the cuts will be made because the administration
wants to be flexible should other unexpected shortfalls arise. They also say the
administration wants to whittle away at a more than $6 billion backlog in unpaid bills.
That means the budget ax still will fall on the state’s Monetary Award Program
scholarship, which lost $8.4 million, resulting in 3,000 fewer students receiving tuition
help. Domestic violence shelters will lose $419,300 and a program for expectant
parents will lose $225,900. In addition, the sickle cell center at the University of
Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System faces a $500,000 funding cut, while
Medicaid health care providers for the poor also face deep rate cuts.
•Looking ahead, the state budget that lawmakers and the governor are trying to craft
by the end of May is short by more than $6 billion. Rauner is pushing deep cuts but
has indicated he could be open to new taxes if lawmakers make accompanying
changes to things like workers’ compensation or curbing union powers.
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423