SPRINGFIELD – Deputy Governor Sheila Nix stood with other top gubernatorial staff today to announce next steps the Blagojevich Administration will take to work with the General Assembly and leaders in order to reach a budget by the end of the state’s fiscal year, June 30th. The Governor wants to avoid relying on last minute budget negotiations, such as those that took place in the end of May that resulted in no budget bills reaching his desk by the end of session.
To help move the process forward, the Governor will call for meetings with all four legislative leaders at the start of each week, with additional meetings throughout the week as needed. He will also call for meetings with all caucuses at the end of each week and regular meetings with the budgeteers. He has already called for a leaders meeting tomorrow, Tuesday, June 5.
“The Governor and his top staff want to be helpful over the next few weeks to keep the dialogue going. We will all be assembled here, as we have been throughout session, to assist legislators and leaders in any way we can. It’s our hope that by beginning the month of June with an aggressive schedule, the General Assembly can avoid dealing with tough budget choices too late in the process. We don’t want a repeat of what happened at the end of May,” said Dep. Gov. Nix.
Nix said that the Governor and top staff responsible for the budget, health care, capital and education will be on hand throughout the month of June to help legislators and leaders address any questions and issues in these key policy areas.
“We’ll be here to work with the General Assembly every step of the way in order to forge a budget that helps people get access to health care, infuses our schools with new funding and is fiscally responsible. We can do that by working together, but ultimately the General Assembly needs to begin passing elements of a budget immediately that the Governor can sign,” Nix added.
Joining Deputy Governor Nix were State Chief Operating Officer John Filan, Governor’s Office of Management and Budget Director Ginger Ostro and Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Barry Maram.