RYAN PROPOSES $40.6 BILLION STATE BUDGET TO PREPARE ILLINOIS FOR THE 21ST CENTURY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 17, 1999
SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. George H. Ryan today proposed a $40.6 billion state budget for Fiscal Year 2000, a spending outline that fulfills and surpasses his pledge to devote 51 percent of all new general revenue funds to education and workforce training.
Ryan's first budget recommends an increase of $536 million in general funds and federal funds for education, the hiring of new teachers and workforce training. The $486 million in general funds for schools and training represents 53 percent of the growth in general funds appropriations and 58 percent of the growth in general funds revenues.
Ryan proposed spending a total of $7.9 billion on elementary, secondary and higher education, as well as workforce preparedness, in Fiscal Year 2000.
"I proposed that we dedicate at least 51 percent of all our new general revenues to education and job training. With this budget, we not only meet that goal, we surpass it," Ryan said. "This is a promise for our children that must be kept and I am confident you will join me in making it a reality."
The governor's suggested budget, outlined in his first speech to a joint session of the General Assembly, proposes a new "rainy day" budget fund to help tide state government over in the event of an economic slowdown.
The budget calls for the creation and initial funding of an Illinois Open Lands Trust to preserve recreational and natural areas; beefs up spending for Illinois' economic development and job creation efforts and expands funding for child care services and women and children's health programs.
Ryan also outlined the key points of his legislative agenda, which include the passage of a "15-20-LIFE" gun violence prevention law; consolidation of child support collection efforts in the office of Attorney General Jim Ryan; the creation of $1,000 "Career Scholarships" for high school graduates who don't go to college; the passage of a "Jobs Through Economic Competitiveness Act" to strengthen Illinois' economic position with other states; and the passage of a tax credit for families who pay out-of-pocket expenses for their children's education.
"Let me repeat what I have said before," Ryan added. "I intend to govern -- to do what's right -- with you as my partners. For my part, I will do all that I can to avoid partisan gridlock. Partisanship ended with our election."
In Fiscal Year 2000, general funds appropriations will increase by an estimated $918 million to more than $20.7 billion. Revenues into the General Fund will increase by an estimated $841 million to $22.15 billion.
The strong growth of the Illinois economy in all areas during the last three years has left state government in a position to prudently expand programs that help advance the people of Illinois; pay obligations on time and maintain a healthy end-of-year balance in the General Funds. Ryan proposed an end-of-year balance of $1 billion for Fiscal Year 2000, more than enough to pay all outstanding bills from one year's revenue.
Here are the highlights of Governor Ryan's Fiscal Year 2000 Budget Proposal and legislative agenda:
A $7.9 billion budget for education and job training, a $536 million increase. The increase is composed of $486 million in general funds and $50 million in federal funds.
A $5.5 billion allocation for elementary and secondary education, an increase of $342 million. $50 million in federal funds and $10 million in General Funds are budgeted to begin hiring the first of 10,000 new teachers for Illinois schools. $3.1 billion is budgeted for general state aid, including $41 million to boost the per-pupil foundation level to the required level for FY2000 -- $4,325 -- and possibly raise the foundation level beyond the statutory requirement.
A $2.4 billion budget for higher education, an increase of $137 million. This allocation includes $17 million to continue progress on the Illinois Century Network, a $44 million high-speed, statewide Internet that connects classrooms and laboratories with businesses, libraries and homes.
Passage of a "Career Scholarship" program; $1,000 for high school graduates who forego college to enroll in a career trade program or vocational training.
A $10 million increase in reading grants and a $16 million increase in early childhood and summer bridge programs.
Passage of an income tax credit for Illinois families who pay out-of-pocket expenses for their children at parochial or public schools.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TECHNOLOGY
A $21 million increase in the budget of the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs to $1.062 billion.
Creation of the Governor's Technology Office to upgrade and coordinate technology improvements within state agencies and help lead the state's Y2K upgrade.
A $7 million increase in funding for the Industrial Training Program to help upgrade the skills of an estimated 11,700 workers at 450 Illinois companies.
Passage of a "Jobs Through Economic Competitiveness Act" that will encompass the state's economic development agenda and "EDGE" tax credits that help our border areas compete with other states for new jobs.
Consolidation and better coordination of the state's workforce training efforts.
A $54 million budget for the Governor's Technology Initiative, an $8 million increase, to help assure that teachers and students have access to the Internet.
A $5 million increase in the promotion budget for tourism, a $20 billion industry in Illinois.
A $34.5 million allocation for two projects that will help increase the use of Illinois coal: a Low Emission Boiler System in Elkhart and a new power plant "scrubber" for the City of Springfield.
Consolidation of the state's child support enforcement effort in the office of Attorney General Jim Ryan.
Passage of a "Patients' Bill of Rights" for HMO members.
Better coordination of women's health programs under "Women's Health Illinois," to be coordinated by Lt. Gov. Corinne Wood.
Better coordination and enhanced enrollment procedures for the state's KidCare program to help boost the number of children signed up under this health care coverage plan.
A $46 million increase in programs for adoptions or permanent guardianship programs, to serve an estimated 6,000 new adoptions and subsidized guardianships in FY2000.
A $10.3 million budget for community-based substance abuse programs for young people, public aid clients and the families of DCFS wards. A $13.5 million budget, a $5 million increase, for the Teen REACH program that supports after-school activities to combat gang involvement and substance abuse.
Funding for community-based mental health programs increases by $7 million and a $9.3 million increase is allocated for 276 new Community Integrated Living Arrangements for persons with developmental disabilities.
$ 484 million budget for child care for 157,000 families moving from welfare to work. Illinois' welfare-to-work initiatives also have reduced welfare caseloads and spending by almost $100 million.
Passage of legislation to govern large-scale livestock facilities in Illinois.
A $15 million budget, a $3 million increase, for food and agricultural research at the University of Illinois, Southern Illinois University, Illinois State University and Western Illinois University.
A $600,000 allocation to build a new open-air arena/amphitheater at the Illinois State Fairgrounds to serve as a venue for the 2000 National High School Rodeo Championship.
Passage of a "15-20-LIFE" law to help prevent gun violence; and passage of a Child Access Prevention, or "CAP" law to lock up unsupervised firearms.
A $1.1 billion budget for the Department of Corrections, a $79.3 million increase that includes full, annualized funding for 3,138 new prison beds opened in FY1999 and a new 200-bed community correctional center in Chicago that opens during FY2000.
A $3.4 million allocation to hire 66 new parole agents and $5.8 million to open two new day reporting centers needed to help supervise inmates released on parole.
A $324 million budget for the Illinois State Police that includes 100 state police cadets.
ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL HERITAGE
A $40 million initial allocation to the Department of Natural Resources for the Illinois Open Land Trust, which eventually will be a $160 million program.
A $15 million allocation, including a $5 million supplemental appropriation in FY1999, to the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, which helps reduce soil erosion along the Illinois River. Illinois' five-year commitment is $48 million, which will capture $202 million in federal funds.
A $1.2 million allocation to the Environmental Protection Agency to help begin the reclamation process of urban "brownfields," and $31.2 million to match $156 million in federal funds for programs that help local governments rehabilitate drinking water, sewer and wastewater treatment facilities.
TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE
A $1.59 billion road, bridge and highway construction and repair program for FY2000, an increase of $434.5 million over the current year's effort.
Nearly $259.7 million for mass transit needs across the state, including $20.3 million for fare subsidies available to students, the elderly and persons with disabilities.
A $1.3 million allocation for preliminary landbanking at the site of the proposed third airport for Northeastern Illinois at Peotone. A delay in the federal review of a needed environmental impact statement submitted in 1998 stalls further planning.
Formation of an Infrastructure Task Force to evaluate and prioritize the state's basic construction needs and help develop a "Fund for Illinois' Future" to tackle those needs.
Initiation of a Performance Review Project for all state agencies under the direction of Lt. Gov. Corinne Wood. This comprehensive review will include programs, initiatives, laws and policies currently in place.
Initiation of a multi-year Strategic Plan for Illinois State Government that will provide a comprehensive blueprint for the future of state agencies.