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ILLINOIS NEWS
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 2, 1999

51% Funding Pledge For Schools Highlights $42.8 Billion Budget

Governor George H. Ryan today signed into law a $42.8 billion state government budget for Fiscal Year 2000, a budget that fulfills -- and surpasses his pledge to dedicate 51 percent of all new state revenues to Illinois schools and workforce training programs.

"Illinois is in good shape and this $42.8 billion budget will allow our economy to continue to grow, our schools to thrive and families everywhere to prosper. This budget increases funding for human services, economic development and public safety," Ryan said. "But, I'm most proud of this budget for the way it funds our schools.

"This budget dedicates almost $8 billion toward education at all levels during the next year -- a 7 percent increase in funding," the governor added. "This is the most ambitious budget for schools and workforce training ever passed by the General Assembly."

The FY 2000 budget dedicates an increase of $503 million in new general funds to schools and job training -- or 57 percent of the growth in general funds revenues and 54 percent in the growth of new general funds appropriations.

"I pledged last year during my campaign to devote 51 percent of all new revenues to education and workforce training and with the help of the General Assembly we have fulfilled that pledge and surpassed it," Ryan said. "Education is our top priority and will remain our top priority."

Ryan's $12 billion, five-year "Illinois FIRST" initiative, the largest infrastructure construction and repair program in state history, will expand state support for school building projects by $1.1 billion, an amount to be matched by $1.1 billion in spending by local school districts.

"This budget includes more than $1 billion for new classrooms and laboratories through the Illinois FIRST program -- which legislators passed this spring," Ryan said. "I don't want kids to be taught in old boiler rooms and closets -- or out in the hallway. Our school buildings should be in the best shape possible."

The FY 2000 state budget includes:

EDUCATION

  • Elementary and Secondary Education. Passage of a total $5.6 billion budget for elementary and high schools and $1.1 billion to fully-fund categorical programs for the first time in state history.

  • Higher Education. A $2.4 billion budget for higher education: $127 million increase that includes $5 million for Merit Recognition Scholarships, full-funding for the Illinois Veterans Scholarship Program and first-ever scholarship funding for part-time and adult continuing education. The budget also includes a record $161 million for needed building repairs and construction at the state's college campuses.

  • New Teachers. Passage of a budget allocation of $5 million in state funds and $50 million in federal funds to start hiring 2,500 new teachers -- the first installment of 10,000 planned new hires over the next four years.

  • Success in Reading. A $29 million budget increase for school reading grants, summer bridge programs and early childhood initiatives to help all students learn to read at grade level by the end of the third grade.

    ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT & TECHNOLOGY

  • Technology. A $100 million allocation includes $17 million to continue work on the Illinois Century Network, the creation of the Illinois Technology Enterprise Corporation to assist in the formation of high-tech businesses and the initiation of the "True Grid" digital infrastructure network, which links the National Center for Supercomputing Applications in Urbana with Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago. The Grid will form a solid foundation for research and business applications.

  • Tourism. A $14 million increase in the tourism promotional budget for the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs, one of the largest promotional efforts in the country.

  • Linked Development & "Prime Sites." Three new incentives totaling $66 million to help attract and create jobs in Illinois -- a five-year, $30 million fund and an $11 million account allocated to economically depressed communities; and a five-year, $25 million program to help attract companies and firms to prime business locations throughout the state.

  • Workforce Development. Passage of a 41 percent increase, or $7 million, in the state's Industrial Training Program. This budget will provide $24.2 million in grants that will help 11,700 people train for a career or learn upgrade their job skills.

    PUBLIC SAFETY

  • Double Parole Officers. Passage of a $2.7 million budget increase to hire an additional 66 parole agents to better monitor inmates released from prison on parole. Ryan has proposed 113 new parole officers for next year's budget.

  • New Police Officers. Funding for 100 new state troopers.

  • New Prison Beds. Operational funding for 3,500 new prison beds, including a new women's prison.

  • Domestic Violence. A 62 percent, $8 million increase in funding for the expansion of domestic violence prevention and intervention services.

    HUMAN SERVICES, CHILDREN & FAMILIES

  • Futures for Kids. Under the direction of First Lady Lura Lynn Ryan, the program focuses on early intervention for pre-school children, family and community involvement, school success and safe neighborhoods. This includes a $5 million allocation for the Teen REACH after-school program that tutors at-risk children and helps fight gangs and substance abuse.

  • Women's Health. Passage of a $3.2 million budget for women's health programs -- more than doubling of resources. Also, the state's 65 separate women's health programs have been brought under the coordination of Lt. Gov. Corinne Wood.

  • Child Care. Passage of a 20 percent increase of $85 million to help support and expand child care services throughout Illinois, especially for families moving from welfare to work.

  • Human Service Provider Increase. Passage of $264 million in various cost adjustments for social service providers: A base COLA of 1.6 percent to cover inflationary increases in costs and variable additional increases for several provider groups based on the particular needs of each provider community.

  • Substance Abuse. Increased funding and issued an executive order that places more importance and emphasis on the Office of Substance Abuse and Alcoholism within the Department of Human Services. This allocation includes a $10.3 million budget for community-based substance abuse programs and $2.5 million for juvenile programs.

  • Adoptions. Passage of an increase of 43 percent or $46 million for adoptions or permanent guardianships, which will serve an estimated 6,000 new placements in FY 2000.

  • Mental Health. Passage of a $7 million increase for community-based mental health programs and a $9.3 million increase for 276 new Community Integrated Living Arrangements; and a $6 million increase for community placements.

    NATURAL RESOURCES, ENVIRONMENT & AGRICULTURE

  • Agriculture Research. Passage of a $3 million funding increase for the Council on Food and Agricultural Research, which promotes food safety and agriculture science at the state's universities.

  • Illinois River. Passage of a $15 million allocation for the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, or CREP, to help reduce soil erosion and protect 232,000 acres along the Illinois River. The state's four-year commitment to CREP is $48 million, which will leverage nearly $202 million in federal funds.

    ARTS, HISTORY & CULTURE

  • Pullman. Passage of a $10 million allocation to begin development of the Pullman National Historic Site in Chicago.

  • Lincoln Library. Continued support for construction of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield.

  • Children's Museums. Passage of $350,000 for a new exhibit at the Chicago Children's Museum at Navy Pier and $5 million to help with the relocation of the Kohl Museum in Chicago's Northern suburbs.

  • Hemingway Home. Passage of $875,000 for the restoration and development of the Ernest Hemingway birthplace in Oak Park.

  • Arts Funding. Passage of a $1.6 million increase in funding for arts programs in every area of Illinois and a 50 percent increase for the Illinois Humanities Council to a total of $750,000.

  • ###

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