Gov. Ryan Signs 2002 Budget, Record Funding for Schools, Programs for Families, Communities - Healthy End of Year Balance
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 11, 2001
ROCKFORD -- Gov. George H. Ryan today signed into law the $53 billion budget that continues his unprecedented commitment to children; plans for a healthy end of year balance; and addresses the state's important social service and infrastructure needs.
The Governor signed one of the five bills for the 2002 state budget at the Ellis Arts Academy in Rockford, the last of three bill-signing stops in Illinois communities.
"This budget is a helping hand to those in need and will be a force to help change Rockford for the better," Gov. Ryan said.
For the third straight year, the budget commits 51 percent of new state revenues for education and job training, an increase of $460 million this year and nearly $1.5 billion over three years. For the schools in Rockford District 205, that means an increase of $10 million in state support.
In the next school year, Rockford gets $39 million in general state aid and $24.6 million in full funding for required "categorical" programs like transportation and special education. The district is also expected to receive nearly $4 million from the school construction program, expanded to $740 million in this budget.
Other education highlights include:
- Funding for Summer Bridge reading programs is increased by $3 million. Since 1999, $64 million has been allocated to Summer Bridge Programs.
- Early childhood education programs will receive $10 million - a $4 million increase.
- A $9 million increase for adult education and literacy programs.
- $4 million for teacher training and professional development. Since 1999, close to 9,000 new teachers have been hired in Illinois.
- Funding for the Illinois Virtual High School to help students in every part of the state expand their education.
- $50 million for phase one of a five-year, $250 million construction program for the state's 48 community colleges.
- Increases in state scholarship programs will help more than 135,000 college students receive help with tuition.
Gov. Ryan told the students, parents, teachers and school administrators at Ellis Arts Academy that the new budget expands health care services for the poor, childcare opportunities, prescription drug assistance for seniors, anti-smoking programs, domestic violence prevention and substance abuse treatment. In all, more than $10 billion will be spent to improve Illinois' "human infrastructure."
- The budget includes a $1-an-hour raise for direct care workers who assist persons with developmental disabilities at a cost of $77 million.
- Social service agencies that contract with the state will receive a 2% cost-of-doing-business increase, beginning in April.
- Maintains all programs and services for Medicaid clients and doctors, hospitals and clinics. $70 million boost in Medicaid reimbursements to nursing homes.
- $51 million is allocated to anti-smoking programs.
- $107 million is allocated to fund an expanded "Circuit Breaker" prescription drug assistance program for 350,000 senior citizens.
- $32 million is allocated to the Comprehensive Health Insurance Program - CHIP - to assist an expected 5,700 people who have trouble getting health insurance.
- The FY 2002 budget increases support for youth programs under the First Lady's "Futures for Kids" program
- $20 million for more than 200 Teen REACH after-school programs.
- $3 million for summer youth employment programs
- $1 million to prevent homelessness for 2,900 families.
- Funding for more than 726,000 child immunizations.
The budget also includes economic development programs for all across the state with $2.3 billion for the Department of Commerce and Community Affairs.
Since 1999, more than 78,000 jobs have been created or retained.
The Governor's VentureTECH program is expanded by $373 million to help further the state's high technology economy.
- The program is now a $2 billion effort that will leverage $4 billion in private investments.
- Biomedical and technology research at the state's leading universities.
The budget's capital program continues with the third year of Governor Ryan's Illinois FIRST program, which is rebuilding the state's communities-- everything from roads and highways to fire trucks, police cars and libraries.
The budget also provides $67 million for tourism promotion - the largest targeted state effort in the nation.
"This budget opens economic doors for everyone - from factory workers to farmers," Gov. Ryan said.
An environmental highlight will be a doubling of this year's allocation for Gov. Ryan's popular Open Lands Trust program from $40 million to $80 million. It will allow the state to buy and improve thousands of acres of parkland and nature preserves for families to enjoy.
The new budget provides for public safety with two new state police cadet classes as well as a major investment in forensic sciences--$63 million for forensic services, including 80 new forensic scientists. This represents a 25 percent funding increase since 1999
Gov. Ryan noted this budget is fair to taxpayers and provides for a healthy end of year balance and a rainy day fund.
"There are no tax increases. And even with everything this budget does for the people of Illinois, we will still keep a $1.4 billion surplus in the bank as a safety valve against any downturn in the economy," Gov. Ryan said.