ICCTA Action Alert
June 4, 2002

The Illinois General Assembly adjourned the contentious 2002 spring legislative session at 11 PM on Sunday, June 2, 15 days past the originally scheduled adjournment date of May 17. Both houses of the General Assembly are scheduled to return to Springfield for the fall veto session in mid-November, just after the general election. Some observers believe that lawmakers could be called back to Springfield during the summer to wrestle with nagging budget issues.

The major issue during the final weeks of the spring session was approval of a state budget for FY 2003 Ė more specifically, finding the revenues to pay for it while dealing with a $1.35 billion shortfall. Ultimately the General Assembly approved several new sources of revenues:
  • An increase in cigarette taxes by 40 cents per pack ($230 million)
  • An increase in gambling taxes ($135 million)
  • "Decoupling" from the federal stimulus package of 2002 ($250 million)
  • Borrowing against future tobacco settlement proceeds (up to $750 million)
Additionally, overall state spending was reduced and an early retirement plan for state employees was approved. (This early retirement package does not apply to participants in the State Universities Retirement System.)

The budget approved by the General Assembly can now be sent to Gov. George Ryan for his consideration. There is no guarantee, however, that the Governor will sign this budget without making additional reductions. The Governor has said he may further reduce state spending in order to rely less on the $750 million in borrowing authority that was approved.

Community College Operating Budget
The $53 billion state budget for FY 2003 included $2.6 billion in General Revenue Funds for higher education, which is about 1.6 percent below the original FY 2002 funding levels but was the amount recommended by the Governor.

The community college budget was also approved at the Governorís funding level, with the following additional funds:
  • $5 million for City Colleges of Chicago
  • $5 million for all other community colleges
  • $2 million for City Colleges of Chicago student tracking software upgrade
Adult education funding for FY 2003 was reduced by $3.7 million below the Governorís February budget announcement, which is 12.3 percent below last yearís level.

Community College Capital Budget
The FY 2003 capital budget for community colleges was approved at the Governorís recommended level:
  • Illinois Community College Board (statewide improvements) -- $6,071,700
  • ICCB (2nd installment of 5-year building program) -- $50 million
  • Lake Land College (student services building addition) -- $6,721,600

Three additional projects also made the final budget:
  • William Rainey Harper College (bondable infrastructure improvements) -- $4,250,000
  • Lewis and Clark Community College (capital projects at the N.O. Nelson Complex) -- $5 million
  • City Colleges of Chicago (one-stop information system) -- $2 million

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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