ICCTA Action Alert
September 26, 2008

General Assembly restores some budget cuts

The Illinois General Assembly met on September 22-23 to conduct business involving the Fiscal Year 2009 state budget and proposed revisions to the state’s Ethics Act. Gov. Rod Blagojevich had called for an unprecedented 26th special session, which required both houses of the legislature to convene.

During the two-day session, a slimmed down "fund sweeps" proposal originating in the House was approved by both houses and sent to the Governor for his action. The "fund sweeps" legislation transfers $220 million from special dedicated funds to the state’s General Revenue Fund to shore up the state’s budget. Gov. Blagojevich had requested approval of "fund sweeps" legislation totaling $530 million. Even though the Governor had suggested making controversial changes to the State’s Ethics Act, the General Assembly made no changes.

Following approval of the "fund sweeps" legislation, lawmakers went to the business of appropriating the $220 million (supplemental appropriation) that had been produced from passage of the "fund sweeps" legislation. The General Assembly’s intent was to appropriate adequate funding to reverse decisions to close state parks and historic sites and to avoid the layoffs of hundred of state employees in these areas.

During the course of budget negotiations to structure the appropriation, Tom Ryder (ICCTA's Legislative Counsel) submitted a request that the legislature restore $10 million to the community college system budget. This nearly became reality. Ryder recommended to legislative leaders that $10 million be added to credit hour grant funding for all community colleges. This would have restored funding to the level approved by the General Assembly last spring before the Governor reduced the community college budget using his item veto authority. Even though there was widespread support among lawmakers to add $10 million to the community college system budget, legislative leaders ultimately decided to limit the scope of the appropriation bill to the original intent -- to avoid state agency site closures and employee layoffs.

* For additional legislative updates, call ICCTA at 1-800-454-2282 *

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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