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GOV. BLAGOJEVICH’S BUDGET ADDRESS -APRIL 9, 2003 (PART 2)

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THIS BUDGET ELIMINATES 11 BOARDS WHOSE FUNCTIONS WERE REDUNDANT – AND REDUCES THE NUMBER OF MEMBERS ON MANY OTHERS.

FOR EXAMPLE:

THE WATER RESOURCES ADVISORY COUNCIL IS A BOARD DOING WORK THAT IS ALREADY UNDER THE PURVIEW OF OTHER COMMISSIONS AND DEPARTMENTS.

THE MINING BOARD AND THE MINERS’ EXAMINING BOARD – WILL BE CONSOLIDATED.

THE EDUCATIONAL LABOR RELATIONS BOARD – WILL BE MERGED WITH THE ILLINOIS LABOR RELATIONS BOARD.

AND A FINAL EXAMPLE IS THE NECROPSY SERVICE TO THE CORONERS ADVISORY BOARD.

BY EXECUTIVE ORDER – I HEREBY PRONOUNCE THAT BOARD DEAD.

BY CONSOLIDATING BOARDS – WE ARE SENDING A STRONG MESSAGE TO THE BUREAUCRATS – IT’S TIME TO GET A REAL JOB.

AND NO MORE DOUBLE-DIPPING. TAKE THE POLLUTION CONTROL BOARD -FOR EXAMPLE. THE DAYS OF RECEIVING $99,000 DOLLARS A YEAR – FOR LESS THAN PART-TIME WORK – ARE OVER.

IF YOU ARE HOLDING A FULL-TIME JOB SOMEWHERE ELSE – HOW CAN YOU DO FULL TIME WORK FOR US?

THIS IS WHAT THE VOTERS WERE TALKING ABOUT IN NOVEMBER.

GOING FORWARD -IF YOU WANT TO BE A MEMBER OF A FULL-TIME BOARD – YOU ARE REQUIRED TO WORK FULL-TIME. THAT MEANS FIVE DAYS A WEEK — FULL TIME.

AND MEMBERS OF BOARDS LIKE THE POLLUTION CONTROL BOARD WILL BE PROHIBITED FROM EARNING OUTSIDE INCOME.

CHANGE MEANS THE TAXPAYERS ARE FINALLY GOING TO GET THEIR MONEY’S WORTH.

WE ARE ALSO PUTTING AN END TO STIPENDS FOR BOARD MEMBERS – AND DRAMATICALLY REDUCING PER-DIEMS.

AND WE ARE HOLDING THE LINE ON PAY INCREASES FOR MANAGERS IN STATE GOVERNMENT.

IF YOU ARE NOT PROTECTED BY A UNION CONTRACT -WE CANNOT OFFER YOU A RAISE THIS YEAR.

IN ADDITION – FOR MANAGERIAL EMPLOYEES, WE CAN NO LONGER HAVE THE STATE PAY FOR BOTH THE EMPLOYER’S -AND EMPLOYEES – SHARE OF THE PENSION CONTRIBUTION.

WE WILL CONTINUE TO PAY OUR SHARE – BUT WE CAN NO LONGER AFFORD BOTH.

I KNOW THAT’S NOT GOOD NEWS FOR MANY HARDWORKING -DEDICATED EMPLOYEES – BUT WE CANNOT AFFORD THE $35 MILLION DOLLARS IT WOULD COST TO PAY FOR IT.

AND OF COURSE -THAT APPLIES TO ME, MY CABINET, MY DEPARTMENT HEADS, AND MY STAFF AS WELL.

TURNING DOWN STATE EMPLOYEES’ COST OF LIVING INCREASES IS DIFFICULT.

MANY OF THE DECISIONS TAKEN IN DEVELOPING THIS BUDGET WERE DIFFICULT.

BUT I HAVE TO TELL YOU – I WAS SURPRISED AT THE NUMBER OF EASY CHOICES.

IT SEEMS OBVIOUS THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE – SHOULD INCLUDE ALL AGENCIES WHOSE MAIN PURPOSE IS REVENUE GENERATION.

THE LOTTERY – THE RACING BOARD – AND THE LIQUOR CONTROL COMMISSION – WILL NOW BE MOVED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE.

THIS WILL INITIALLY SAVE $2.1 MILLION DOLLARS AT THE OUTSET – BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY – IT WILL ULTIMATELY MAKE THOSE AGENCIES MUCH MORE EFFICIENT – AND COLLECT MORE MONEY.

FRANKLY — I DON’T KNOW WHY THEY DIDN’T DO THIS BEFORE.

IN ADDITION, WE ARE ALSO:

MERGING THE POLLUTION CONTROL BOARD INTO THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY.

MERGING THE TWO WILL ALLOW US TO SAVE MONEY ON ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS WITHOUT COMPROMISING THE BOARD’S INDEPENDENCE.

MOVING THE ENVIRONMENTAL TRUST FUND COMMISSION INTO THE ILLINOIS ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY.

CONSOLIDATING THE STATEWIDE BONDING AUTHORITIES.

MERGING THE DEPARTMENT OF NUCLEAR SAFETY – INTO THE ILLINOIS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY,

AND CONSOLIDATING ILLINOIS’ 30 SEPARATE FRAGMENTED JOB-TRAINING PROGRAMS ACROSS STATE AGENCIES INTO ONE PROGRAM: — THE 21ST CENTURY JOBS TRAINING INITIATIVE.

THIS WILL SAVE $16 MILLION PER YEAR. THE PROGRAM WILL BE RUN BY THE NEW ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY – WHOSE MISSION IS TO CREATE JOBS – AND EXPAND ECONOMIC ACTIVITY – THROUGHOUT ILLINOIS.

RIGHT NOW – IF YOU HAVE TWO AGENCIES DOING RELATED WORK – YOU HAVE TO PAY TWO DIFFERENT SPECIALISTS.

YOU HAVE TO HAVE TWO TYPES OF LETTERHEAD. TWO SETS OF OFFICES.

TOO MUCH OF TOO MUCH …..IF YOU ASK ME.

MY BUDGET CALLS FOR SAVING AN ADDITIONAL $91 MILLION DOLLARS – BY CONSOLIDATING THE PURCHASING OF:

* SUPPLIES

* COMMODITIES

* EQUIPMENT AND IMPROVING PROCUREMENT PROCEDURES.

WE CAN ALSO SAVE ANOTHER $20 MILLION DOLLARS BY USING INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY MORE EFFECTIVELY.

NOW, I’VE TALKED A LOT ABOUT HOW OUR AGENCIES CAN BE MORE EFFICIENT — BUT WE HAVE TO LEAD BY EXAMPLE.

I HAVE CUT BACK EXPENDITURES IN THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE BY 15%.

AND LT. GOVERNOR PAT QUINN – HAS PUT FORTH A PROPOSAL TO CUT OVER 15% OF HIS BUDGET.

BUT THE TRUTH OF THE MATTER IS – WE AREN’T GOING TO BALANCE THIS BUDGET WITHOUT YOU- THE LEGISLATORS.

WHEN I TOOK OFFICE-I PLACED ALL MEMBER INITIATIVES ON HOLD. WE ARE REVIEWING EVERY SINGLE PROJECT. MANY WILL BE APPROVED. BUT NOT ALL.

IF THE INITIATIVE FURTHERS EDUCATION – HEALTH CARE – PUBLIC SAFETY OR ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT-WE’RE FOR IT.

IF IT DOESN’T-WE’RE NOT.

AT THIS POINT-I’VE LAID OUT MY SPENDING PRIORITIES LOUD AND CLEAR: EDUCATION-HEALTHCARE-PUBLIC SAFETY.

IN CUTTING WASTE-WE MUST ALSO LOOK AT OUR CAPITAL PROGRAM.

MOST STATE BUILDING PROJECTS ARE JUSTIFIED. ROADS-SCHOOLS-AND HOSPITALS-ARE NECESSITIES.

AND ANY COMMITMENTS THIS GOVERNMENT HAS MADE-TO BUILD OR REPAIR VITAL FACILITIES- WE WILL CONTINUE.

BUT CAPITAL EXPENDITURES-FOR PROJECTS THAT DO NOT AFFECT CRITICAL AREAS-WILL HAVE TO WAIT.

EVERYONE MUST SACRIFICE.

MY BUDGET CALLS FOR A CAPITAL PROGRAM OF $10.7 BILLION-DOWN FROM $12.3 BILLION.

IN ADDITION- WE’VE CURBED NEW BONDING AUTHORITY FOR THE STATE’S GENERAL OBLIGATION BOND PROGRAM BACK TO $1.5 BILLION NEXT YEAR. THAT’S A SAVINGS OF $500 MILLION IN CAPITAL FUNDING.

AND IN THE CASE OF UPKEEP –I WILL NOT SIGN OFF ON REMODELING STATE BUILDINGS UNLESS IT’S A MATTER OF SAFETY-OR CRITICAL MAINTENANCE.

NEW SPENDING ON UNIVERSITY FACILITIES WILL ALSO BE LIMITED.

I AM PRESERVING COMMUNITY COLLEGE CAPITAL FUNDING AT $50 MILLION -FULFILLING THE STATE’S COMMITMENT TO TURN TEMPORARY BUILDINGS INTO PERMANENT FACILITIES.

THE FOLLOWING OTHER PROJECTS MUST ALSO GO FORWARD.

LAST YEAR-$500 MILLION WAS ALLOTTED FOR SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION.

$500 MILLION WILL BE ALLOTTED FOR SCHOOL CONSTRUCTION THIS YEAR TOO.

ANOTHER CRITICAL COMMITMENT IS ROADS

THE ROAD FUND WILL CONTINUE TO PAY $227 MILLION-A PARTIAL SHARE OF SECRETARY OF STATE AND STATE POLICE COSTS-ASSOCIATED WITH KEEPING OUR ROADS SAFE. THAT’S THE SAME AMOUNT AS LAST YEAR.

SOME $1.7 BILLION WILL GO TOWARD THE ROAD PROGRAM-$50 MILLION LESS IN TRANSPORTATION BONDS THAN LAST YEAR. THAT’S A TOTAL ROAD PROGRAM OF $4.7 BILLION- MORE THAN ENOUGH TO KEEP OUR PROJECTS MOVING FORWARD .

WE ARE ALSO USING THE CAPITAL-SPENDING PORTION OF THE BUDGET-TO SEND A MESSAGE REGARDING THE IMPORTANCE-OF TRUTHFUL ACCOUNTING. WE HAVE REMOVED ITEMS DATING BACK TO THE 1980S LISTED FOR RE-APPROPRIATIONS-THAT OBSCURE THE REAL SIZE OF THE BUDGET.

IN THIS SPEECH-YOU HAVE HEARD THE DETAILS-PERHAPS A FEW TOO MANY-ON THE CUTS AND CONSOLIDATIONS WE NEED TO MAKE-AND ON OUR EFFORTS TO DO MORE WITH LESS.

I WANT EVERY CITIZEN TO BE ABLE TO READ THIS BUDGET AND HAVE IT MAKE SENSE. I ALSO WANT THEM TO LIKE WHAT THEY SEE.

I DIDN’T RUN FOR GOVERNOR-TO MANAGE A STATE OF DECLINE. WE HAVE TO MOVE ILLINOIS FORWARD.

THAT’S WHY-THIS BUDGET-MAKES INVESTMENTS IN AREAS ESSENTIAL TO OUR FUTURE.

I PLEDGED THAT WE WOULD PROTECT-AND EVEN INCREASE-FUNDING FOR EDUCATION-HEALTH CARE AND PUBLIC SAFETY-EVEN IN THESE DIFFICULT TIMES.

THIS BUDGET DELIVERS ON THAT PROMISE.

OTHER GOVERNORS FACED WITH BUDGET DEFICITS-HAVE CHOSEN TO TEMPER THEIR AMBITIONS FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION.

I AM MOVING AHEAD WITH INNOVATIVE PROGRAMS THAT CAN’T WAIT. BECAUSE ONCE THE WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY FOR LEARNING IN A CHILD’S LIFE CLOSES-IT CAN BE CLOSED FOREVER.

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS THAT HELP KIDS LEARN TO READ ARE AT THE HEART OF THIS ADMINISTRATION’S MISSION.

THAT IS WHY I AM INCREASING THE FUNDING AVAILABLE TO SCHOOLS-FROM $4,560 TO $4,810 PER CHILD –

THAT’S $250 MORE PER CHILD – THE LARGEST INCREASE SINCE 1999.

SCHOOLS CAN DO A LOT MORE WITH THESE EXTRA FUNDS-TO IMPROVE WHAT MATTERS MOST-TEACHING IN OUR CLASSROOMS.

EVEN IN THIS BUDGET CRISIS-BY INCREASING STATE FUNDING AND CONSOLIDATING SEVERAL DISCRETIONARY CATEGORICAL GRANTS-WE’RE TAKING $235 MILLION OF INCREASED FUNDING OUT OF SPRINGFIELD AND SENDING IT TO LOCAL SCHOOLS-WHERE IT BELONGS.

FOR YEARS- STATE GOVERNMENT SHORTCHANGED OUR YOUNG PEOPLE. BY DIVERTING MONEY AWAY FROM EDUCATION- MISSING OUT ON OUR BEST INVESTMENT.

BUT THAT’S GOING TO CHANGE.

WE MUST NEVER FORGET THAT INCREASING EDUCATION SPENDING IS A PRIORITY.

THIS BUDGET WILL EXPAND ACCESS TO PRESCHOOL. I HAVE BUDGETED ALMOST $30 MILLION OF NEW FUNDING SO THAT AN ADDITIONAL 8,230 AT-RISK CHILDREN CAN ATTEND.

THERE ARE CURRENTLY 25,000 CHILDREN AT RISK OF FALLING THROUGH THE CRACKS.

THEY SHOULD ALL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO ATTEND PRESCHOOL.

HOW ARE WE GOING TO PAY FOR ALL OF THIS? BY SETTING THE RIGHT PRIORITIES.

WE WILL MOVE MORE MONEY INTO EDUCATION BY TAKING IT OUT OF THE BUREAURACY ACROSS STATE GOVERNMENT AND BY PUTTING IT INTO THE CLASSROOM.

WE ARE ALSO GOING TO MAKE THE EDUCATION SYSTEM MORE EFFECTIVE.

TOO MUCH BUREAUCRACY WEIGHS DOWN THE STATE’S EDUCATIONAL SYSTEM.

TAKE FOR EXAMPLE, THE REGIONAL OFFICES OF EDUCATION.

WHILE SOME OF THE PROGRAMS THEY OFFER MAY HAVE SOME BENEFIT, — THIS EXTRA LAYER OF ADMINISTRATORS IS A LUXURY WE SIMPLY CANNOT AFFORD.

MY BUDGET WILL REDIRECT THE STATE’S $20.2 MILLION DOLLAR SUBSIDY THAT HELPS PAY THE SALARIES OF ADMINISTRATORS AND PUT IT INTO THE CLASSROOMS.

KIDS DON’T NEED PROGRAMS. THEY NEED TEACHERS.

WE’VE ELIMINATED 24 GRANT PROGRAMS AND SERVICE LINES-AND TRANSFERRED FOUR MORE PROGRAMS TO OTHER STATE AGENCIES.

AND WITH FEWER PROGRAMS TO RUN-WE NEED LESS BUREAUCRACY AT THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION.

WE’VE CUT THEIR CENTRAL OFFICE $9 MILLION AND PUT THAT IN THE CLASSROOM TOO.

ALL TOTALED-STREAMLINING THE EDUCATION BUREAUCRACY WILL PRODUCE $210 MILLION IN FINANCIAL AND PROGRAMMATIC FLEXIBILITY AT THE LOCAL SCHOOL LEVEL.

ANOTHER $567 MILLION WILL REMAIN IN INITIATIVES PROVEN TO PROVIDE CLEAR BENEFITS TO STUDENTS.

THESE INCLUDE PROGRAMS LIKE EARLY CHILDHOOD- READING, VOCATIONAL EDUCATION-AND TEST ASSESSMENTS.

WE CAN ALSO HELP LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS SAVE MONEY BY ALLOWING THEM TO POOL THEIR HEALTH INSURANCE CONTRACTS AND REIGN IN THE EVER SPIRALING COSTS OF COVERING THEIR EMPLOYEES.

AND FINALLY — LET ME SAY THIS ONCE AND FOR ALL — WE WILL MAKE THE STATE’S 23RD AND 24TH PAYMENTS TO LOCAL SCHOOL DISTRICTS —

ON TIME.

WE ARE ALSO GOING TO HELP PARENTS PAY FOR THEIR CHILDREN’S COLLEGE EDUCATION-AND HELP REDUCE OUR BUDGET DEFICIT AT THE SAME TIME.

OUR PLAN FOR HIGHER EDUCATION IS THREE-FOLD. FIRST-WE WILL CUT BACK ON ADMINISTRATION. SECOND-WE WILL PROTECT FINANCIAL AID. AND THIRD- WE WILL STABILIZE TUITION COSTS.

IN TOTAL, HIGHER EDUCATION CUTS WILL PROVIDE OVER $112 MILLION TOWARDS DEFICIT REDUCTION. WORKING WITH THE UNIVERSITIES, WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO IDENTIFY SAVINGS THAT WILL NOT IMPACT WHAT HAPPENS INSIDE THE CLASSROOM.

PRIVATE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES WILL ALSO CARRY THEIR FAIR SHARE OF THE BURDEN.

MY BUDGET CALLS FOR THE ELIMINATION OF ENROLLMENT-BASED SUBSIDIES FOR PRIVATE COLLEGES. THAT WILL SAVE THE STATE $21 MILLION.

HOWEVER, WE WILL CONTINUE FUNDING HEALTH EDUCATION GRANTS AT PRIVATE COLLEGES IN THE AMOUNT OF $17 MILLION. THAT INCLUDES INCENTIVES TO REACH OUT TO UNDERSERVED AREAS AND FOR MINORITY STUDENT SCHOLARSHIPS.

ADDITIONALLY, WE WILL FUND SCHOLARSHIPS AT MEDICAL SCHOOLS IN THE AMOUNT OF $3 MILLON FOR STUDENTS WHO AGREE TO PRACTICE MEDICINE IN UNDERSERVED AREAS.

BUT LET ME TELL YOU WHAT I AM NOT GOING TO CUT IN THE HIGHER EDUCATION BUDGET-FINANCIAL AID.

FOR MOST PEOPLE-COLLEGE ONLY COMES AROUND ONCE. WE WILL NOT DENY NEEDY STUDENTS ACCESS TO HIGHER EDUCATION.

I WILL NOT REPEAT-THE LAST ADMINISTRATION’S MISTAKE-BY SLASHING FUNDING TO THE MONETARY AWARD PROGRAM.

MY BUDGET PROTECTS THE MAP GRANT SO THAT ALL STUDENTS CAN STILL AFFORD TO GO TO ALL ILLINOIS UNIVERSITIES.

I’M MAINTAINING THAT PROGRAM AT $336 MILLION.

ON TOP OF THAT, WE ARE ADDING $4.1 MILLION DOLLARS TO THE NEW FUTURE TEACHERS PROGRAM.

HIGHER EDUCATION IS NOW THE BIGGEST INVESTMENT MANY FAMILIES EVER MAKE OUTSIDE OF BUYING A HOME.

WHEN A CHILD ENTERS COLLEGE-IT IS UNLIKELY THAT THE FAMILY BUDGET WILL INCREASE EACH YEAR UNTIL THEY GRADUATE.

AND YET WE EXPECT FAMILIES TO INCREASE OUTLAYS FOR TUITION-OVER THOSE FOUR YEARS.

LAST YEAR -TUITION COSTS AT OUR STATE UNIVERSITIES INCREASED BY 10.7%.

IN ADDITION TO THE $112 MILLION WE RECEIVED FROM THE UNIVERSITIES FOR DEFICIT REDUCTION, AN ADDITIONAL $58.9 MILLION WILL BE SET ASIDE TO HELP OFFSET TUITION INCREASES.

WE CAN USE THOSE FUNDS AND SOME OF OUR OWN TO TRULY HOLD THE LINE ON TUITION.

I BELIEVE THAT WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO LIMIT THE INCREASE FOR INCOMING FRESHMEN TO 5%. AND I ALSO BELIEVE THAT THE TUITION YOU PAY AS A FRESHMAN OUGHT TO BE THE TUITION YOU PAY AS A SENIOR.

IF WE DO THAT, WE CAN HELP MAKE COLLEGE AFFORDABLE FOR ILLINOIS FAMILIES.

HEALTHCARE-IS ANOTHER AREA-WHERE I REFUSE TO MAKE SACRIFICES.

IT STARTS WITH KIDCARE. KIDCARE IS DESIGNED TO COVER CHILDREN, WHOSE PARENTS CAN’T AFFORD HEALTH CARE.

THIS BUDGET ADDS 20,000 CHILDREN TO THE KIDCARE PROGRAM. OUR PLAN INCREASES THE ELIGIBILITY TO 200% OF POVERTY –FROM THE CURRENT LEVEL OF 185% . THIS WILL COST THE STATE $11 MILLION.

THIS BUDGET EXTENDS COVERAGE TO AN ADDITIONAL 65,000 PARENTS-THROUGH THE FAMILYCARE PROGRAM. THIS FIRST YEAR-WE’LL INCREASE THE BUDGET BY $63 MILLION, OF WHICH $40.1 WILL COME FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

IN ADDITION-THE CREATION OF A SPECIAL ADVOCATE TO NEGOTIATE WITH DRUG COMPANIES-ON BEHALF OF ALL STATE AGENCIES-WILL ALLOW US TO OFFER SENIORS PRESCRIPTION DRUGS-AT A DRASTICALLY REDUCED COST-AND SAVE THE STATE $120 MILLION.

WE WILL ALSO GIVE MEDICAID RECIPIENTS EVERY INCENTIVE TO USE GENERIC DRUGS INSTEAD OF THE COSTLIER BRAND NAME VERSIONS. THIS WILL SAVE THE MEDICAID PROGRAM $49 MILLION.

AND WE WILL ASK THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT FOR PERMISSION TO EXPAND OUR CIRCUIT BREAKER PRESCRIPTION DRUG COVERAGE PROGRAM TO INCLUDE ALL DRUGS.

WE CAN ALSO DO MORE WITH THE FUNDS WE ALREADY SPEND TO HELP SENIORS.

FIRST-WE ARE INCREASING THE ELIGIBILITY FOR FULL COVERAGE-FROM INDIVIDUALS LIVING AT OR BELOW 200 PERCENT OF THE POVERTY LEVEL.

WE WILL REACH AN ADDITIONAL 50,000 PEOPLE BY INCREASING THE CUTOFF TO INDIVIDUALS LIVING AT OR BELOW 250 PERCENT OF THE POVERTY LEVEL.

THEN-BY SHIFTING THIS PROGRAM FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE TO THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC AID-WE WILL NOT ONLY SAVE THE STATE $10 MILLION-BUT INCREASE THE PROGRAM’S REMAINING BUDGET FROM $46 MILLION TO $93 MILLION-THROUGH FEDERAL MATCHING GRANTS.

THAT’S TWICE THE AMOUNT OF MONEY-AND A WHOLE LOT OF RELIEVED RETIREES.

IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER-THAT HEALTHCARE IS ABOUT MORE THAN DOLLARS AND CENTS.

IT’S ALSO ABOUT HUMAN DIGNITY.

THAT’S WHY THIS BUDGET PROPOSES INCREASING SUPPORT FOR HOME HEALTH CARE PROGRAMS.

HOME HEALTH CARE ALLOWS PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES-TO KEEP CONTROL OVER THE SERVICES THEY RECEIVE.

AND LIKE MANY GOOD IDEAS-IT IS ALSO-OFTEN THE MOST COST-EFFECTIVE CHOICE.

ALSO IN THE AREA OF HEALTH CARE-I WILL PUT ASIDE $2 MILLION TO SUPPORT OUR LOCAL GOVERNMENTS IN THEIR EFFORTS TO COMBAT THE WEST NILE VIRUS.

LET’S NOT FORGET – THAT PUBLIC SAFETY IS THE FIRST DUTY OF GOVERNMENT.

THAT IS WHY WE ARE PUTTING $6 MILLION INTO OPERATION SPOTLIGHT – AIMED AT TARGETING RE-OFFENDERS BY HIRING MORE PAROLE OFFICERS.

OUR BUDGET ALSO INCLUDES-THE REOPENING OF THE SHERIDAN PRISON-AS A NATIONAL MODEL DRUG TREATMENT CENTER- AT A COST OF $24 MILLION.

AND IT INCLUDES A NEW CRACKDOWN-ON THE USE OF CLUB DRUGS-ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY FUNDED WITH DRUG-FORFEITURE ASSETS.

PUBLIC SAFETY ISN’T JUST ABOUT LAW ENFORCEMENT. WE ARE CREATING A $10 MILLION REVOLVING LOAN PROGRAM-TO HELP COMMUNITIES PURCHASE NEW FIRETRUCKS.

AND AT COST OF $7 MILLION DOLLARS WE WILL ALSO PURCHASE NEW EQUIPMENT FOR FIRST RESPONDERS.

AND WE ARE CONTINUING OUR STRONG EFFORTS TO COMBAT TERRORISM WITH THE CREATION OF A STATE TERRORISM INTELLIGENCE CENTER IN SPRINGFIELD.

ILLINOIS HAS BEEN RANKED AS ONE OF THE THREE MOST PREPARED STATES IN THIS NATION WHEN IT COMES TO THE ISSUE OF HOMELAND SECURITY. WE SHOULD TAKE EVERY POSSIBLE STEP TO KEEP IT THAT WAY.

THIS IS A BUDGET THAT PUTS THE TAXPAYERS MONEY WHERE IT BELONGS.

INSTEAD OF FUNDING WASTE, PATRONAGE AND INEFFICIENCY, THIS BUDGET FUNDS EDUCATION, HEALTHCARE AND PUBLIC SAFETY.

IT FUNDS PROGRAMS THAT HELP PEOPLE.

EVEN WITH THESE INVESTMENTS, THIS IS THE FIRST TIME SINCE 1981 THAT STATE GOVERNMENT SPENDING HAS ACTUALLY DECREASED FROM ONE YEAR TO THE NEXT.

AND THIS BUDGET MAKES THE KIND OF STRUCTURAL CHANGES TO OUR AGENCIES AND OUR BUDGET THAT WILL TRULY ALLOW US TO RESTORE THIS STATE’S FISCAL HEALTH AND INTEGRITY FOR THE FIRST TIME IN OVER A DECADE.

NOW, I’VE BEEN SPEAKING FOR A WHILE … BUT PLEASE BEAR WITH ME …

THERE’S A LOT MORE GROUND TO COVER —

AT LEAST ALL OF YOU GET TO SIT DOWN.

I’VE JUST DETAILED HOW WE CAN SHRINK THE BUDGET GAP, FROM THE SPENDING SIDE.

NOW I’M GOING TO DETAIL HOW WE CAN SHRINK THE GAP, FROM THE REVENUE SIDE.

HERE’S THE BLUEPRINT ON REVENUES.

LET’S START WITH THE SACRED COWS OF ILLINOIS GOVERNMENT, THE HUNDREDS OF EARMARKED FUNDS.

CURRENTLY, THERE ARE 597 EARMARKED FUNDS IN THIS STATE. FUNDS LIKE THE ILLINOIS TOURISM FUND, THE BEACH MARINA FUND, AND THE GRAPE AND WINE RESOURCE FUND.

AT A TIME WHEN THE STATE IS IN THE RED BY $5 BILLION, THESE SPECIAL PURPOSE FUNDS ACTUALLY HAVE APPROXIMATELY $3 BILLION IN SURPLUS.

THESE FUNDS ARE THE BEST-KEPT SECRET IN STATE GOVERNMENT. THEY ARE SPECIAL POOLS OF MONEY. THEY HAVE AUTHORITY TO RAISE REVENUE BY CHARGING FEES, BUT THEY ARE ALSO GUARANTEED MONEY FROM THE GENERAL REVENUE FUND.

THIS IS ONE STATE, ONE GOVERNMENT. BUT WE HAVE ESSENTIALLY TWO BUDGETS — ONE SPECIAL INTEREST BUDGET — THAT’S DOING GREAT —

AND ONE BUDGET FOR EVERYBODY ELSE, THAT’S BEYOND BROKE.

AS OUR SCHOOLS HAVE BEEN UNDERFUNDED, AS OUR FAMILIES HAVE GONE WITHOUT DECENT HEALTHCARE, THESE SPECIAL INTEREST FUNS HAVE PROSPERED AND GROWN. NOW IT’S TIME THEY GIVE SOMETHING BACK.

CURRENTLY, THE SPECIAL INTERESTS THESE FUNDS SERVE CONTRIBUTE

NOTHING — NOTHING — TO THE GENERAL REVENUE FUND FOR SERVICES PROVIDED BY THE STATE.

TAXPAYERS PAY FOR THEIR RENT, PAYROLL, PROCUREMENT ACCOUNTING, PURCHASING, AND REVENUE COLLECTION. THESE FUNCTIONS HAVE BEEN PAID FOR OUT OF THE GENERAL REVENUE FUND, BY THE PEOPLE, INSTEAD OF GOING TO THINGS THAT MATTER LIKE EDUCATION OR HEALTHCARE OR PUBLIC SAFETY.

WELL, WE’RE GOING TO CHANGE THAT.

THIS BUDGET PLACES, ON AVERAGE, A RECURRING 5% SERVICE CHARGE ON THESE FUNDS. THIS WILL GENERATE $330 MILLION TO HELP BALANCE OUR BUDGET.

THE LOBBYISTS AREN’T GOING TO LIKE IT. BUT 5% FOR ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS IS NOT ONLY FAIR, IT’S A BARGAIN. THESE FUNDS WOULD PAY A LOT MORE IF THEY HAD TO OUTSOURCE THESE SERVICES.

ALSO, WE ARE GOING TO TAP INTO THE FUNDS’ STASH OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS THAT ARE NOT TIED TO SPECIFIC USES OF ANY KIND.

WE ARE MOVING $144 MILLION TO THE GENERAL REVENUE FUND FROM FUNDS CONTROLLED BY SPECIAL INTERESTS.

OUR STATE GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO REGAIN FINANCIAL CONTROL OVER THESE SPECIAL INTEREST FUNDS. WE NEED A REDUCTION IN THE NUMBER OF THESE FUNDS AND ULTIMATELY THEIR RESOURCES SHOULD BE PULLED INTO THE GENERAL REVENUE FUND.

THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT SPECIAL INTERESTS DON’T WANT. THEY WANT THEIR DOLLARS LOCKED IN, HIDDEN APART FROM THE MAIN BUDGET, LIKE MONEY STASHED IN SWISS BANK ACCOUNTS.

BUT IF WE DON’T CHANGE THIS PRACTICE NOW, WHEN WILL WE HAVE THE CHANCE AGAIN? THE PUBLIC HAS CALLED FOR CHANGE.

NOW IS THE TIME. IN ADDITION, MANY OF OUR AGENCIES ARE SUPPORTED BOTH BY THE GENERAL REVENUE FUND, AND BY FEES.

IN MANY CASES, THE FEES SHOULD BE ABLE TO SUPPORT OUR AGENCIES, WITHOUT TAKING ADDITIONAL DOLLARS FROM THE TAXPAYER’S WALLET.

THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES, AND THE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY ARE ALL EXAMPLES OF AGENCIES THAT CHARGE FEES.

THEY SHOULD BE ABLE TO PAY FOR THEIR OPERATIONS FROM SPECIAL INTEREST FEES, RATHER THAN FROM TAXPAYER DOLLARS.

FOR EXAMPLE, THERE ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH CORPORATIONS WHO NEED POLLUTION PERMITS TO FUND THE EPA.

MANY ILLINOIS FEES ARE SIGNIFICANTLY BELOW THE NATIONAL AVERAGE. AND MANY HAVE NOT BEEN ADDRESSED OR UPDATED IN DECADES.

BUT FROM NOW ON, POLLUTERS WILL PAY $21 MILLION PER YEAR TO CLEAN UP THE HUNDREDS OF ILLINOIS LAKES AND RIVERS THEY DIRTY WITH THEIR DUMPED GARBAGE AND INDUSTRIAL WASTE.

IN TOTAL, THESE FEE INCREASES WILL RAISE $342 MILLION.

BUT, LET ME MAKE THIS CLEAR — NONE OF THESE FEES WILL AFFECT THE AVERAGE CONSUMER.

WE WILL NOT RAISE TOLLWAY CHARGES.

WE WILL NOT RAISE UNIVERSITY FEES.

WE WILL NOT RAISE THE COST OF HUNTING OR FISHING LICENSES.

AND LET ME REPEAT A PROMISE YOU’VE HEARD ME MAKE BEFORE. I SAID IT ONCE. I’LL SAY IT AGAIN. WE WILL NOT RAISE THE FOID CARD. NOT ONE DIME. NOT ONE NICKEL. NOT ONE PENNY.

BUT, IN LIGHT OF A $5 BILLION DECIFICT WE ARE UPDATING NON-CONSUMER FEES.

FOR EXAMPLE, IN THE SECRETARY OF STATE’S OFFICE ALONE WE CAN GENERATE $103 MILLION THAT WILL NOT IMPACT CUSTOMERS.

WE NEED TO USE FEES MORE EFFECTIVELY AND MORE FAIRLY.

WHY ARE WE ONE OF ONLY SIX STATES THAT USE THE GENERAL REVENUE FUND TO PAY FOR THE COST OF HEARING WORKERS COMPENSATION CASES?

BY SIMPLY BRINGING ILLINOIS IN LINE WITH COMMON SENSE APPROACHES USED BY 44 OTHER STATES, WE CAN GENERATE $27 MILLION.

WE WILL DO THIS BY REQUIRING EMPLOYERS WHO LOSE IN WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CASES TO COVER COURT COSTS CURRENTLY PAID FOR BY THE STATE.

WE SHOULD ALSO INCREASE THE STATE LIQUOR LICENSE FEE INCREASING REVENUES ANNUALLY BY $7 MILLION.

RIGHT NOW, A LIQUOR LICENSE HERE COSTS FAR LESS THAN IT DOES IN NEIGHBORING STATES.

THAT’S A LUXURY WE CAN NO LONGER AFFORD.

WE SHOULD ALSO REQUIRE LIQUOR DISTRIBUTORS TO PREPAY THE SALES TAX THAT WILL BE DUE WHEN THE PRODUCT IS SOLD AT RETAIL.

THIS WILL INCREASE LIQUOR TAX COMPLIANCE, INCREASING REVENUES THIS YEAR BY AN ADDITIONAL $32 MILLION, WITHOUT COSTING DISTRIBUTORS ANY MORE THAN THEY ARE CURRENTLY REQUIRED TO PAY.

AS PART OF OUR EFFORT TO INCREASE HONESTY AND TRANSPARENCY IN THE TAX SYSTEM, WE SHOULD GIVE TAX SCOFFLAWS A CHANCE TO COME CLEAN.

TAX AMNESTY WILL ALLOW THE STATE TO CAPTURE $40 MILLION IN NEW REVENUE.

BUT DON’T THINK WE’RE GOING EASY ON PEOPLE WHO SKIRT THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES AS CITIZENS.

IT’S NOT RIGHT WHEN THE STATE PAYS TO COLLECT MONEY FROM PEOPLE WHO REFUSE TO SQUARE THEIR DEBTS WITH SOCIETY.

THIS BUDGET IMPOSES A FEE OF UP TO 25% ON PAST DUE ACCOUNTS TO FORCE SCOFFLAWS TO PAY THOSE COSTS.

GOING FORWARD, IF WE HAVE TO SEND A COLLECTION AGENCY AFTER SCOFFLAWS, THEY’RE PAYING THE COST ….. NOT THE TAXPAYERS

THE PAYBACK FOR RIGHTING THIS SMALL INJUSTICE, $24 MILLION.

WE SHOULD ALSO INCREASE THE TICKET PRICE TO BOARD ONE OF ILLINOIS’ NINE RIVER BOAT CASINOS BY $2.00 PER PERSON. THIS WILL PUT US ON PAR WITH MOST OTHER STATES AND WILL GENERATE $38 MILLION IN NEW REVENUE.

ON THE SUBJECT OF GAMING, THIS BUDGET DOES NOT PROPOSE THE EXPANSION OF GAMBLING IN ILLINOIS.

THAT, HOWEVER, DOES NOT MEAN WE WILL NOT REALIZE THE REVENUES GENERATED BY THE SALE OF THE 10TH GAMING LICENSE- A LICENSE CREATED BY THE LEGISLATURE 13 YEARS AGO.

THE 10TH LICENSE HAS BEEN DORMANT FOR OVER 5 YEARS, ITS FATE IN THE HANDS OF DEBTORS AND CREDITORS, LAWYERS AND BANKERS.

WHILE THEY ARGUE AND CONTINUE TO COLLECT THEIR FEES, THE PEOPLE OF THIS STATE HAVE LOST HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN REVENUES.

WORKING WITH THE GAMING BOARD AND WORKING WITH ATTORNEY GENERAL LISA MADIGAN, THE PROCESS IS STARTING TO MOVE AGAIN.

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GOV. BLAGOJEVICH’S BUDGET ADDRESS -APRIL 9, 2003 (PART 2)