ICCTA Action Alert
May 28, 2002

The following legislative update was prepared by the Illinois Community College Board.

ICCB Update on Gov. Ryan's New Budget Proposal

Governor Ryan delivered a challenging Special Budget Address last night (Memorial Day, May 27). In recommending both tough spending cuts and revenue enhancements as a compromise budget for fiscal year 2003, he took the General Assembly to task for not moving the state budget process forward. His budget suggestions were, in many parts, based upon the "Financial Plan" proposed by the Senate Republicans several weeks ago.

For higher education, the Governor proposed a total of $65 million in cuts: $50 million in the MAP grant program, especially to cut grants to students for a fifth year of a baccalaureate degree pursuit; $2.5 million to zero-out the Art Quern Scholarship Program; $3.7 million from adult education to a level of $34.2 million; $2.5 million from the Illinois Math and Science Academy to zero-out the Outreach and Professional Development funds; and $3.4 million from the Illinois Board of Higher Education's Higher Education Coopertive Act grants to a level of $10 million.

On the plus side, Governor Ryan's proposal includes $10 million in "add-backs" for the community college system which is broken out into $5 million for City Colleges of Chicago and $5 million for "downstate" community colleges. The specific target for these funds has not been addressed. The Governor also has a proposal for $14.6 million in "Governor's Budgetary Adds" which may include some additional funds for community colleges, but that amount, if any, is as yet unknown.

In a briefing prior to the Governor's address, the Governor's staff suggested that the Governor's office "would work with those who will work with us." We are working with the Governor on his current budget proposal. Capital funding was not mentioned in any context either by the Governor or by his staff at the pre-address briefing.

Immediately after the address, Governor Ryan held a press conference in which he reiterated his intention of taking responsibility for moving the budget process forward so that a balanced FY2003 budget is passed by the General Assembly by the end of this week. The Governor suggested that he would entertain alternatives to his budget plan if they met with certain criteria of being "balanced and responsible."

The Senate Appropriations Committee met after the Governor's address and took testimony regarding the Governor's proposal. The schedule for the General Assembly is for the Senate to pass a budget bill today which will then go to the House. The House is convening today as a "Committee of the Whole" to hear from various state agencies, and to discuss any budget items for amending the Senate budget bill. If the schedule proposed by the Governor is followed, the House will then pass the budget bill with its amendments and return the bill to the Senate for concurrence. With a state budget bill being passed by both houses and presented to the Governor by Friday, May 31.

Click here to read the Governor's budget address.

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

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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)

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