CHICAGO -- Governor George H. Ryan today signed several legislative components of the Fiscal Year 2003 budget including authorizing decoupling the state equipment depreciation tax from the federal economic stimulus package; an increase in gaming taxes; an early retirement plan for the city of Chicago; and a plan to securitize tobacco settlement funds.
The Governor signed House Bills 4580, 5686, 2381, 4581, 2828, and 5168 and Senate Bills 1543, 2287, 2313, and 1983.
“This was a very tough legislative session, but I am very pleased that the General Assembly and I were able to come together to enact this budget for the citizens of Illinois,” said Governor Ryan. “It will enable the state to continue providing necessary programs and services.”
- Senate Bill 1543 authorizes decoupling state taxes from the new federal depreciation provisions of the federal economic stimulus package. Maintaining the current depreciation allowances for state taxes, saves Illinois $240 million and local governments $150 million.
- House Bill 5168 enables the City of Chicago, Cook County, the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District and the Chicago Public Schools to offer an early retirement benefit to eligible employees – similar to legislation signed earlier this week for state employees. It provides the City of Chicago with an important tool to balance its budget.
- House Bill 2381 increases the tax structure at riverboat casinos and the admission tax to enter a riverboat casino from $2 to $3. The full $1 increase will go to the state, and together these provisions will generate a $130 million in revenue in FY 2003.
- House Bill 4580 includes budget implementation provisions for Human Services programs including Medicaid, the KidCare health insurance program, scholarship programs and other items.
- House Bill 5686 includes specific interfund transfers, establishes a governing statute for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, establishes FamilyCare, and reallocates the photo processing tax proceeds to the state.
- Senate Bill 2287 amends the Department of Natural Resources Act in the definition of museums eligible for capital development funds by adding the promotion of cultural development through performing arts and requiring an annual indoor attendance (now, annual attendance) of at least 150,000.
- House Bill 4581 authorizes the sale of bonds for the Capital Program.
- Senate Bill 1983 enacts several revisions in Illinois law to become compliant with the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.
The Governor also signed House Bill 2828, the Tobacco Securitization bill, although he wrote in a signing message that he would only use the funds to maintain a healthy Rainy Day Fund and end-of-year balance.
“I want to make it very clear that no one with a stake in a balanced state budget should view this source of money as a way to maintain programs, services and facilities in the budget. Nor should anyone view this money as a way to restore programs, services and facilities that had to be cut in order to balance the Fiscal Year 2003 budget,” Governor Ryan said.
Senate Bill 2313 prohibits the allocation of a previously authorized cost-of-living wage adjustment in FY 2003 for designated state officials whose pay is controlled by the Compensation Review Board including the Governor, his cabinet, all other constitutional officers and members of the General Assembly.
The Governor noted the 12,000 merit compensation employees took an unpaid furlough day and said he would not ask the state’s supervisors, middle managers and support staff to further sacrifice by denying their COLA.