FY 15 Budget

The House and Senate have passed a budget for FY15 and sent it to the Governor for his signature.  Unfortunately, there were not sufficient votes to extend our current income tax rates, which will result in a colossal hole in our state finances when the current income tax rates sunset on December 31, 2014.  … [Continue Reading]

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House votes to restore Medicaid cuts, pay old bills and fund construction projects

The Illinois House voted today to restore several cuts to Medicaid and to tack more than $1 billion in spending onto the current fiscal year’s budget.Senate Bill 741 would rollback several Medicaid program reductions that were cut under sweeping Medicaid reforms approved in 2012. The bill would restore podiatry services and preventative dental care for adults…. [Continue Reading]

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FY2015 Proposed Budget Highlights

  The Appropriations—Human Services Committee which I chair has approved a series of budget bills which set out spending which prioritizes resources for families and communities around the state.  Our priorities include increasing support for childcare, community mental health and substance abuse providers, supportive housing, efforts to support the work of the Heroin Task Force… [Continue Reading]

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Nursing Homes, SEIU Urge Lawmakers to Extend 2011Illinois Income Tax Hike

(Springfield, IL) ­ – The Illinois nursing home industry, a top labor union, and a key Democratic lawmaker called on legislators yesterday to extend the temporary income tax surcharge. The Health Care Council of Illinois, SEIU Healthcare, Illinois and Indiana, and State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) warned that serious Illinois budget cuts to care for… [Continue Reading]

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State Rep. Greg Harris’ behind-the-scenes dealing brought adoption of same-sex marriage to Illinois

It was May 31, 2013, and the cause of same-sex marriage rights was gusting through America like a spring squall. Public opinion had recently swung around on the issue so dramatically that it took even its long-time proponents by surprise. The earlier trend of states outlawing gay marriage had completely looped back on itself in… [Continue Reading]

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Rep. Harris: Keep Illinois Income Tax Hike to Protect Education, Other Services

(Chicago) – State Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), chair of a top House budget panel, yesterday called for maintaining Illinois’ income tax increase to avoid “massive” Illinois budget cuts. In a Facebook post on Thursday night, Harris, Chair of the House Human Services Appropriations Committee, which has oversight over nearly $18 billion of the Illinois budget, outlined the “massive… [Continue Reading]

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House State Budget Update

On February 25, 2014, the Illinois House unanimously approved HR842 which determined the amount of General Revenue Funds (GRF) that can be appropriated in the next fiscal year (FY!5) to be $34,395,000,000.  You can see the Resolution here:  http://ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=842&GAID=12&DocTypeID=HR&LegId=81331&SessionID=85&GA=98     This estimate includes the effect of ½ year of loss of revenue if the… [Continue Reading]

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Lawmakers say DCFS faces ‘horrendous’ challenges

BY KERRY LESTER Associated Press March 8, 2014 SPRINGFIELD, ILL. — Two Democratic lawmakers involved in overseeing the troubled Illinois Department of Children and Family Services say the agency faces “horrendous” challenges in the year ahead as officials deal with yet another search for a new child-welfare chief, anticipated budget cuts and election year politics. Officials… [Continue Reading]

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FY15 Revenue Projections & Budget Implications

As we begin to plan for the adopting the FY15 budget, despite previous cost cutting, program reforms and improving revenue pictures, the precipitous drop in state revenue in the middle of our coming fiscal year will have profound impacts.  In an effort to live within our means, we have passed budgets that have cut several… [Continue Reading]

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Pension Reform Legislation

Yesterday the General Assembly passed and sent to the Governor legislation dealing with the unfunded liabilities of the 4 state pension systems (TRS, SURS, SERS and General Assembly). The Governor has indicated he will sign this legislation into law. It would not take effect until July 1, 2014. In addition, there will undoubtedly be court… [Continue Reading]

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