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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 2, 2000

Ryan Proposes $46.5 Billion State Budget That Focuses Resources On Education And Job Creation, Technology and Human Services

SPRINGFIELD - Governor George H. Ryan today proposed a $46.493 billion state budget for Fiscal Year 2001 that re-emphasizes his funding pledge for education and workforce training; outlines a comprehensive, five-year high-technology initiative and increases funding for services that advance Illinois' "human infrastructure."

Ryan unveiled his recommended FY2001 budget during his annual "State of the State" address to a joint session of the General Assembly.

"This is a bold agenda for Illinois and another aggressive budget that allows us to continue to fulfill our commitments to the people of this state," Ryan said. "I believe it is an affordable agenda - a prudent budget - as Illinois continues to be blessed with robust economic growth."

The FY 2001 state budget includes no tax increases and $481 million in tax relief for citizens, parents and businesses across Illinois. The governor also suggested to legislators that state government spend approximately $800 million of the state's share of the tobacco settlement over the next five years to leverage $2 billion in federal and private funds for health and research programs and invest almost $400 million into a "Revenue Stabilization Fund".

For the second straight year, Ryan met his pledge that education and job training will receive at least 51 percent of all new anticipated state revenues in every new budget.

For FY 2001, Ryan proposed a $528 million increase for education and workforce development that will raise state government's commitment for schools to a record level of $8.45 billion.

"With this budget, our number one priority, once again, is educating our children and preparing our workforce for the jobs of the "New Economy," the governor said.

To help prepare the state for the challenges of the global "New Economy," Ryan proposed an ambitious, five-year technology enhancement program called Illinois VentureTech. This program will allocate $1.9 billion in state spending - plus an additional $800 million in state-directed venture capital - to help nurture science education, biotechnology, research, information technology and advanced physics.

Illinois VentureTech addresses the needs of basic research, construction and infrastructure projects, as well as seed money and assistance in turning laboratory work into marketable products that create Illinois jobs. It is expected that Illinois VentureTech will spur $1.9 billion in private investment within the Illinois economy.

"Our success in the New Economy will be judged by how well we provide our people with a good education, opportunities for skill enhancement and lifelong learning, innovation and a flexibility to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances," Ryan added. "I want Illinois to become a recognized leader in this technological revolution and this budget stakes our claim to that leadership."

The governor's recommended FY2001 budget includes an increase of $212 million in state funding for programs and services that maintain the state's "human infrastructure" and promote good health, prevent and treat substance abuse, help seniors maintain their independence and advance the lives of people with mental illnesses or development disabilities.

In particular, the governor recommended funding for the new "Illinois Workforce Advantage," a place-based service delivery network that will consolidate the state's social service offerings into "Family Resource Centers" within distressed communities. This pilot program will target neighborhoods that rely heavily on state services. The new support centers will consolidate health care, job training, child welfare and other services into one entity to create a seamless delivery of advice, care and support.

"The second fundamental premise of this budget is that no one will be left behind as we move Illinois forward," the governor said. "We will continue to develop the human services infrastructure that we need in this state."

Ryan outlined his recommendations for the state's share of the historic legal settlement with tobacco companies that will generate an estimated $9 billion for the state treasury through 2025.

The governor proposed that the $377 million payment received by the state during FY2000 be set aside in a new "Revenue Stabilization Fund" to guard against unexpected downturns in the economy. The investment of this fund by State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka would increase the size of this nest egg to roughly $500 million by the end of 2005.

Ryan also suggested that over the next five years, tobacco settlement money received by the state - an expected $1.6 billion - be used to maximize federal revenues available for health-related programs, provide funds for VentureTech and establish a state endowment.

Approximately $823 million would be invested by the treasurer. The other $823 million would be spent over five years as match payments to help Illinois capture an estimated $2 billion in federal and private grants for health and research-related services.

The governor noted that the FY 2001 budget contains $481 million in tax relief for Illinois citizens. The full phase-in of the state's individual income tax exemption will provide $326 million in relief. The full phase-in of corporate income tax changes provides $80 million in relief. The first-year implementation of an income tax credit for parents who pay out-of-pocket school expenses will mean $75 million in relief.

Under the governor's FY 2001 budget, general fund appropriations for education will increase by 6.6 percent, while appropriations for all other areas of state government will increase by an average of 3 percent. The continued strong growth of the Illinois economy will leave the state with an anticipated budget balance at the end of FY 2000 of $1.3 billion. The balance at the end of FY2001 is expected to total $1.1 billion - more than enough money to handle the anticipated lapse period spending of $800 million.

Here are highlights of Ryan's FY 2001 budget proposal and legislative agenda:

EDUCATION AND WORKFORCE TRAINING

  • An $8.45 billion budget for education and job training, a $528 million increase.
  • A $5.9 billion allocation for elementary and secondary education, an increase of $370 million - fully funding the ISBE's initial recommendation.
  • A $46.5 million increase in general state aid, which raises the state's per pupil "foundation" spending level to $4,425, as required by law.
  • For the second straight year, required "categorical" programs that deal with special education, transportation and other services are fully funded.
  • A comprehensive, statewide professional development initiative for teachers is funded at $42 million.
  • An allocation of $56 million in federal funds is included to help hire new teachers so class sizes can be reduced.
  • An increase of $32.5 million has been budgeted for early childhood education programs and an increase of $20 million has been budgeted for the successful Summer Bridge program that targets reading skills.
  • Creation of $1,000-a-person "career scholarships" to help high school graduates who don't go to college learn a marketable skill.
  • Better coordination of the state's 18 job training programs that now operate in six different agencies for a seamless delivery of services.
  • A $2.5 billion allocation for higher education, an increase of $155 million that fully funds the IBHE's initial recommendation.
  • An increase of $39 million for state scholarship programs. The Monetary Award Program will serve an estimated 135,700 students and the maximum per pupil award will increase by $210 to $4,740-a-year.
  • $79.7 million to support and retain the best academic talent on our university campuses, through research support as well as increased funding for salaries.

ILLINOIS VentureTech

  • A five-year, $1.8 billion investment in Illinois' high-technology future to help forge a leadership role in the global "New Economy."
  • Along with a five-year investment from the state budget, an $800 million commitment in high-tech venture capital from State Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka; the Illinois Development Finance Authority; the State Board of Investment and the State Teachers' Retirement System.
  • $192 million over the five years for K-12 education programs.
  • More than $86 million to boost funding for technology development programs that take laboratory concepts and help turn them into products that create jobs.
  • At the University of Illinois, $93 million for a new medical school in Chicago; $80 million for a new post-genomics biotechnology institute, a new $31 million building for the National Center for Super Computing Applications, a new $71 million chemical sciences building, a new $19 million microelectronics laboratory, an $8 million computer in engineering laboratory, a $53 million pharmacy science building and an $11 million MRI facility in Chicago.
  • A continuing $343 million investment in the Illinois Century Network to link colleges, schools, laboratories, libraries, businesses and homes.
  • $30 million for a biomedical research facility at Northwestern University, which will leverage $170 million in other funds.
  • $8 million for rural health telemedicine systems run by Southern Illinois University.
  • $400 million for technology management improvements within state government.
  • $3 million for the Center for Safe Food for Small Business at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

HUMAN SERVICES

  • Implementation of the "Illinois Workforce Advantage," a new place-based delivery system for human services that will coordinate many of the state's programs through new "Family Resource Centers" that will be located in distressed communities. Six pilot programs will be started throughout the state in FY 2001.
  • Continuation of the state's welfare reform efforts. To date, 57 percent of the adults receiving state assistance are engaged in work.
  • A reduction of $50.1 million in the state's budget for foster care services for children, the result of record-setting permanent placements in Illinois. In 1999, 9,514 children were moved into permanent homes through adoption or guardianships, with 6,700 more placements expected during 2000 and 6,200 more during 2001.
  • A $655.7 million allocation to child care services serving 218,000 young people, a necessary factor in helping families make the transition from welfare to work.
  • A $10.9 million allocation to expand substance abuse services to young people, men not in the criminal justice system, women leaving the state prison system and undeserved areas of the state.
  • A $7.5 million allocation to expand the Teen REACH after-school programs -- $5 million to fully fund the existing programs and $2.5 million to create 10 new initiatives throughout the state.
  • $2 million for community-based Child Advocacy Centers.
  • A $9.9 million allocation to provide a $1-an-hour wage increase for personal attendants in the Home Services Program, which helps seniors and those with disabilities maintain a level of independence.
  • Further expansion of the state's KidCare health insurance program. In 1999, enrollments tripled to about 82,000 children and pregnant women.
  • $185 million in state and federal appropriations to improve and expand state-provided medical services, including Medicaid services for the aged, blind and disabled. The Medicaid program will continue to pay vendors in a timely manner during FY 2001.
  • A $1 million funding increase for the child immunization program that is expected to ensure that 82 percent of the state's youngest children receive needed vaccinations.
  • A $3.5 million appropriation for a smoking prevention program aimed at children.
  • An $11 million funding increase for local health departments for a total of $24 million.
  • The Department on Aging will receive a 10 percent increase in funding, to a total of $7 million, to investigate and help prevent reports of abuse and neglect against seniors; and a $6.9 million allocation for home-delivered meals to serve 1,500 new clients.
  • A $1 million increase in funding for the trend-setting "Women's Health Illinois" and the Office of Women's Health.
  • A $1.7 million appropriation to open a new 40-bed Alzheimer's Disease Unit at the Manteno Veterans' Home and $3.4 million to fully fund the operation of the 60 bed John Joseph Kelly Veterans' Home in Chicago.

AGRICULTURE

  • A $3 million allocation for the creation of a value-added grant program to help farmers increase their profits by processing their raw commodities, a program that will total $18 million over five years.
  • A $1.3 million increase in funding for soil and water conservation districts to help preserve farmlands.
  • $350,000 for legal assistance to Illinois farmers and $250,000 to implement the new "Agriculture Assembly," which is modeled after the Conservation Congress.

PUBLIC SAFETY

Appoint a new deputy governor for criminal justice and public safety.

Establish a special commission to rewrite the Illinois Criminal Code, which is a hodge-podge of changes enacted over the last 40 years.

Establish a special commission to investigate problems with the administration of Illinois' death penalty statute.

A $1.3 billion budget for the Department of Corrections that includes full funding for 1,082 new prison beds in Decatur; Chicago and Joliet; as well as three new prisons that are scheduled to open in FY 2001 in Thomson, Lawrence County and Kewanee.

A $6.7 million allocation for 173 new parole agents and 34 support staff hired during FY 2000-2001 to increase supervision of released prisoners.

Two new State Police cadet classes graduating 86 new troopers in FY 2001.

$3.6 million to replace 174 high-mileage patrol cars.

An allocation of $2 million to improve the State Police Forensics Laboratory in Springfield and to maintain DNA testing capabilities statewide.

Establish "ISP 2000," a program to assess the availability of high-tech instruments and equipment for law enforcement and to develop a plan to access this technology and share it with local police agencies.

ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL HERITAGE

The second $40 million installment for the four-year Illinois Open Lands Trust. Since 1997, the state has purchased more than 11,000 acres in Illinois for public use.

$1.8 million to operate the 1,200-acre Wildlife Prairie Park near Peoria, a gift to the state by Naturalist Bill Rutherford.

$627,500 to fund the Environment and Nature Training Institute for Conservation Education, or Project ENTICE. This new education program is designed to help expand conservation horizons for young people.

$13.2 million for the mitigation and clean up of urban brownfields soiled by pollution.

$10 million for the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program, which is designed to help reduce erosion and to restore wetlands along the Illinois River.

$10 million for museums across the state, the third year of a five-year, $50 million commitment.

An allocation of $18 million in state funds will be used to capture $90 million in federal funds that will support the Drinking Water Revolving Loan Program and the Water Pollution Control Revolving Loan Program. Both initiatives assist local governments in fixing and expanding drinking water and sewer facilities.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Implementation of the five-year, $12 billion Illinois FIRST infrastructure improvement program will continue.
  • Capital spending will total $2.3 billion for roads and bridges.
Funds earmarked for mass transportation include $76 million for the Regional Transportation Authority, $5 million for downstate transit systems and $15 million for Operation Green Light, the anti-traffic congestion program in Chicago's suburbs. $575 million in new capital appropriations for school construction and expansion. $25 million for the Prime Sites Program that will help bring new development to targeted areas of the state. A $2.7 million increase in tourism promotion efforts.

GOVERNMENT MANAGEMENT

  • Continue to maximize the state's federal allocation. In the past year, the state's federal receipts have included $7.9 million for adoptions, $106 million to recruit and hire new teachers, $14 million for the reconstruction of the Stevenson Expressway, $2.75 million for the proposed Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield, and $13 million for the Chicago Shoreline Restoration Project.
  • Continuation of the Internet-based Illinois Federal Clearinghouse, a service that helps public and private entities access the multitude of federal grant and loan programs. The site receives approximately 1,000 hits per week.
  • The second year of the Statewide Performance Review will work toward streamlining government, assist state agencies in focusing on their core functions and help measure success toward stated goals.


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