ICCTA Action Alert
April 17, 2000

FY 2001 State Budget Approved
On Saturday afternoon, April 15, 2000, the Illinois General Assembly adjourned the spring legislative session. Lawmakers are scheduled to return to Springfield on November 14, 2000 to begin the fall veto session. This adjournment date was the earliest time that the General Assembly has completed its business in 101 years.

The General Assembly approved a $46.5 billion overall state budget for fiscal year 2001. The budget includes an assortment of tax cuts and spending increases based on even higher revenue projections for FY 2000 and FY 2001 than had been anticipated earlier in the year. Revenue estimates for FY2000 were recently revised upward to reflect that the state would take in $147 million more than originally expected. FY2001 revenue estimates were correspondingly changed to predict $40 million more.

Using these additional funds, $350 million in Tobacco Settlement Funds, and some reductions in Gov. George Ryan's recommendations, a budget was crafted that largely leaves the Governor's education budget intact at the institutional levels and also provides some election-year tax cuts. The largest tax cut will come in the form of property tax refunds of up to $300 that will be mailed to income tax payers in the late fall - just before the November elections. The amount of the property tax refund will be based on the amount the taxpayer actually paid in property taxes. The "Circuit Breaker" program for poor elderly residents was also expanded, and an income tax credit was created for the states' working poor.

Education Funding
Higher education funding was increased by $133 million, or 5.6% overall (down $22 million from the Governor's recommended level of funding). K-12 funding was increased by $330, down $40 million from the Governor's funding recommendations. Most reductions from the Governor's recommendation for higher education came from the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (Illinois Career Scholarships costing $12 million was eliminated) and reductions in the Illinois Board of Higher Education's inter-institutional grants. Overall education funding increases amounted to 53% of the new state revenue growth. Although this is down from the 56% that the Governor had recommended this year, it is still above the 51% to which the Governor committed in his March budget address.

The FY 2001 community college grants budget was approved at the Governor's recommended funding level, which is a 6.2% increase above FY 2000.

Capital Projects
The General Assembly also approved Gov. Ryan's community college capital appropriations as recommended in his fiscal year 2001 capital plan. In addition to the regular capital projects, each of the four legislative caucuses was allocated about $95 million for "member initiatives." These are usually smaller capital projects that individual legislators may be able to include in the FY 2001 budget. These projects were approved in lump sum appropriations and will be announced throughout the fiscal year.

For additional information on state legislative issues, contact ICCTA at 1-800-454-2282.

In Association with Amazon.com

Illinois Community College Trustees Association
401 E. Capitol Ave., Suite 200
Springfield, IL 62701-1711
217-528-2858 (phone)
217-528-8662 (fax)
ICCTA@communitycolleges.org (e-mail)

| Home | News | Events | Links |