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FY16 Budget

·         University of Illinois: declining State credit levying a cost on taxpayers.  Illinois is ranked 50th of 50 in terms of its financial probity and ability to repay its debts, according to the collective judgment of the three New York-based credit rating firms (Moody’s, Standard & Poor’s, and Fitch Ratings).  Despite this poor rating, Illinois infrastructure needs continue to demand an urgent response and, on January 14, Illinois sold $480 million in new bonded debt backed by tax revenue.  The interest rates demanded by bond buyers reflected the State’s sub-optimal credit rating.  As some of the bonds are denominated with maturity dates as far out as 25 years from now, these interest rates will be paid by Illinois taxpayers for many years. 

It is possible, by comparing Illinois’ credit rating and interest rates with the credit ratings and interest rates enjoyed by higher-rated states, such as Indiana, to estimate the costs of Illinois’ current fiscal situation upon future taxpayers.  The nonpartisan University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA) estimated that Illinois taxpayers will pay an additional $53 million on the January 14 bond sale over and above what would have had been pledged to be paid had the State kept its fiscal house in order.
This coming Monday, January 18 is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Serve Illinois, the state's Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service, is encouraging Illinoisans to get involved and make a difference by volunteering for an MLK Day project in your local area.

"Life's most persistent and urgent question is: What are you doing for others?" – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Each year, thousands of Illinoisans make the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday "a day on, not a day off." This year Serve Illinois asks you to join your neighbors in giving back. Below, please find details on service projects that are planned by Serve Illinois partners. You can also search for more projects by visiting www.serve.illinois.gov.

For more information on the day of service, please visit MLKDay.gov.
On January 1, 237 new laws will take effect in Illinois. Unfortunately, a balanced budget is not among them.

Several of the new laws affect children, veterans and the elderly. Others affect drivers and consumers. Here's a quick look at some of the more notable laws taking effect on Friday, January 1.

A full list of new laws can be found here.
SPRINGFIELD – State Representative Adam Brown (R-Champaign) is pleased to announce the passage of various significant state funds to his House District.

Rep. Brown stated, “Senate Bill 2039 brings crucial funding to veterans homes, motor fuel tax receipts for roadway projects and road safety, statewide 911 services, breast cancer research, domestic violence shelters, and lottery payments will all receive due funding. I do realize these items are vital to so many in my District. I was happy to support the amendment that collectively passed all of these funds, and I hope to see our General Assembly continue to progress through cooperation. While many key budget issues remain unsolved, this is a vital step forward for local government.”

It is anticipated that the Illinois Senate will promptly convene its members to concur with the House on Senate Bill 2039, and Governor Rauner has already stated his support of the appropriations.
FY16 Budget
Governor Rauner to chair public meeting with legislative leaders on Nov. 18.  The meeting is expected to examine the delayed FY16 budget process.  Although the FY16 fiscal year began on July 1, 2015, a constitutional balanced budget has not been enacted by the Democrat supermajorities in the Illinois House and Senate.  The State has continued to operate under consent decrees, court orders, continuing appropriations, and school appropriations, but this has created many operational problems.  Recipients of State services, and providers of goods and services to the State, have been affected by the lack of a legal budget document.  

Spokespersons for all four legislative leaders expressed positive interest in the meeting.  The gathering was requested by a consortium of nonpartisan advocacy groups.  Sponsors of the request included the Better Government Association, the League of Women Voters, and the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.