Business & Economy
Governor Quinn Takes Budget Action PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Andrew Mason   
Monday, 02 July 2012 12:26

Cuts Spending; Reforms Medicaid; Pays Bills 

CHICAGO ­– June 30, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today reduced the budget he received Friday from the General Assembly by $57 million. After a careful review of the budget bills, the Governor enacted a $33.7 billion balanced budget. This budget cuts discretionary spending by $1.4 billion from fiscal year 2012, pays $1.3 billion of old bills, closes and consolidates 57 facilities, and restructures the state’s Medicaid program while preserving the state’s vital services. Governor Quinn also cut his own office budget by nine percent.

“Cutting the budget is never easy but we must make the difficult decisions necessary to restore fiscal stability to Illinois,” Governor Quinn said. “This budget is a serious fiscal plan that pays our bills, closes facilities and prevents the collapse of our Medicaid system.”

Reductions

Overall, this budget reduces discretionary spending by approximately $1.4 billion from the previous fiscal year.  The fiscal year 2012 discretionary budget was $25.3 billion compared to $23.9 billion for fiscal year 2013. This budget reduces overall spending at agencies under the Governor’s control, including a 9 percent reduction in the Governor’s office.

Governor Quinn reduced the budget through the closures and consolidations of 57 state facilities in order to improve state government efficiency and the quality of life for people with developmental disabilities and mental health challenges.  These actions will save the state approximately $82 million in fiscal year 2013, and will result in an annualized savings of at least $136 million beginning in fiscal year 2014. Illinois can no longer afford outdated, half-full, very expensive facilities.

 

Department of Corrections

Reductions to the department will be achieved through the closures of Tamms Correctional Center, Dwight Correctional Center, Southern Illinois Adult Transition Center, Decatur Adult Transition Center and Westside Adult Transition Center.

 

Department of Juvenile Justice

Reductions to the department will be achieved through the closures of the Illinois Youth Center Murphysboro and Illinois Youth Center Joliet. 

 

Department of Human Services

Reductions to the department will be achieved through the closures of Tinley Park Mental Health Center, Singer Mental Health Center and Jacksonville Developmental Center (JDC).  The Department of Human Services will begin the process of closing Murray Developmental Center once the closure of JDC is complete.  The funding in these lines will be used to ensure smooth transitions and coordinated care as individuals move from costly institutions to supportive community settings.

Governor Quinn strongly objects to the General Assembly’s cuts to education and the Department of Children and Family Services, which is dedicated to protecting and saving children from abuse and neglect.  The governor will seek to reallocate funding in the fall towards protecting children.

“Our priority should always be the safety and well-being of our children,” Governor Quinn said.

 

For a more detailed explanation of reductions, please see attachments.

Pension  

Under Governor Quinn’s leadership, the state of Illinois has made the statutorily required pension payment every year since 2009.  The fiscal year 2013 budget continues to fully fund the pension systems.

Without major changes to our pension systems, pension costs will continue to place a tremendous strain on Illinois’ budget. In fiscal year 2008, the state’s pension payments were $1.8 billion, and have since grown to $5.2 billion in fiscal year 2013. These rising costs continue to squeeze all other areas of state government including education, public safety and services relied on by some of the state’s most vulnerable residents.

Governor Quinn laid out a pension plan to address these rising costs and eliminate the state’s unfunded liability; however, any changes require legislative action. The Governor continues to work diligently with legislators on both sides of the aisle to solve Illinois’ pension challenges that continue to impact taxpayers on a daily basis.

Reforms are also needed immediately in order to make certain the men and women who have faithfully contributed to the system receive their benefits. Governor Quinn is committed to making sure the pension systems are 100 percent funded by 2042 while saving taxpayer funds. The Governor is committed to continuing to work on the issue until pension reform is accomplished.

 

Today, Governor Pat Quinn took action on the following bills:

Approved

SB 2378    General Services appropriations

SB 2413    P-12 Education appropriations

SB 2443   Higher Education appropriations

SB 2454   Human Services appropriations

SB 3802   Budget Implementation Act

Line Item and Reduction Vetoed

SB 2474   Public Safety appropriations

Reduction Vetoed

SB 2409    General Services appropriations

Line Item Vetoed

SB 2332    Capital re-appropriations

The fiscal year 2013 budget takes effect July 1, 2012.

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Schilling, Loebsack Support Transportation Jobs PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Andie Pivarunas   
Monday, 02 July 2012 10:18

Approve bill that allows the I-74 Bridge project to advance

Washington, DC – Congressmen Bobby Schilling (IL-17) and Dave Loebsack (IA-02) today joined 371 of their colleagues in supporting H.R. 4348, legislation to reauthorize federal surface transportation programs.  The last transportation authorization expired in 2009, and since that time has operated on a series of nine short term extensions.  The reauthorization passed the House today in a bipartisan vote of 373-52.  

Schilling and Loebsack, representing the Quad Cities area, have worked in a bipartisan fashion to push for the longest possible transportation bill, and successfully called on the members in the House and Senate who negotiated the comprehensive highway legislation to include funding for large interstate bridge projects.  H.R. 4348 authorizes $500 million for Projects of National and Regional Significance, an important program to advance the Quad Cities’ I-74 Bridge.  This provision provides the tools for the governors of Iowa and Illinois, the states’ Departments of Transportation, and the states’ bipartisan congressional delegation to make the case for the I-74 Bridge for inclusion in the Projects of Regional and National Significance report that will be put together by the United States Secretary of Transportation on projects to be included in this program.

“Today’s transportation bill is a win for communities in Illinois and throughout America,” Schilling said. “I’m pleased that the bill we voted on today provides certainty to states, communities, and the construction community of continued federal support for transportation projects, and am particularly pleased that it includes Programs of National and Regional Significance.  Dave and I have been working hard on this, and I’m hopeful that we can continue working across the river and across the aisle to move the I-74 Bridge project  and other transportation priorities forward.  Preserving our roads and bridges isn’t a Republican issue or a Democrat issue, but a red, white and blue issue.”

“Since the beginning of debate over the transportation bill, we have been working together to ensure a large projects initiative, which may help the I-74 bridge move toward completion, was included,” said Loebsack. “Additionally, we have already started working together to best position I-74 to take advantage of this funding.  I am pleased a transportation bill has finally been passed and although it could have been done faster and it could have been longer, it will help create much needed jobs in Iowa and give Iowa communities certainty to invest in much needed infrastructure improvements and economic development initiatives.”

Schilling and Loebsack in April sent letters in support of the I-74 Bridge to the Federal Highway Administration Administrator Victor Mendez and United States Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who in May joined the Congressmen in the Quad Cities to view the Bridge.  They sent a letter of support to House/Senate conferees in April, and reiterated their support for the longest-term bill possible and Projects of National and Regional Significance in a letter on Friday June 22.  

“The Quad Cities region has aggressively advocated for a federal transportation bill to fund nationally significant infrastructure projects, such as the new I-74 Bridge, that will strengthen the region’s and nation’s economic competitiveness,” said Tara Barney, Quad Cities Chamber CEO. “The Chamber thanks our Congressional delegation for passing a transportation bill with bipartisan support.  We’re optimistic this will result in a major federal investment to construct the new I-74 Bridge and maintain the Quad Cities’ integrated transportation system, a competitive advantage that allows people and goods to move quickly and affordably by road, rail, air, water, and transit.”  

In 2005, the I-74 Bridge became the most traveled bridge in the Quad Cities with an average of 77,800 vehicles crossing daily.  This is despite the fact that it was built for 48,000 such crossings.  The Bridge itself is functionally obsolete, however, and has never met Interstate standards.  The I-74 Bridge project would also spur economic growth, create construction jobs, reduce traffic backups, and improve air quality.

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Morthland: Supreme Court Decision Places Huge Tax Burden on the American People PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Rep. Rich Morthland   
Friday, 29 June 2012 09:17
Cordova, IL… “Illinois exported the ‘Chicago Way’ to Washington, D.C., and this is what we got. The Supreme Court’s decision in favor of Obamacare today mandates yet another tax.

This tax places a tremendous burden on the American people who are already struggling. Now the mask is off and the truth is plain for everyone to see; in spite of what the president and his workers in congress said, this is all about a tax.”

Representative Morthland is a co-sponsor to a package of legislation that opposes implementation of Obamacare in Illinois.

 
2013 Dodge Darts Head to Dealerships Across Midwest PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Leslie Wertheimer   
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 15:17

Production at Belvidere Plant Adds Third Shift, Creates 1,800 Jobs

CHICAGO – June 27, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today was joined by executives of Chrysler Group LLC to unveil the new 2013 Dodge Dart, just off its Illinois production line. Nearly 300 car dealers from across the Midwest drove the new Dart straight into dealerships today during a “drive-away” event held at Soldier Field. Governor Quinn test drove the Dart with Dodge CEO Reid Bigland.

“The auto industry is alive and well in Illinois,” Governor Quinn said. “The next generation of Dodge Darts is being assembled at our Belvidere plant and since 2008, Chrysler has gone from 200 jobs to more than 4,000 jobs this summer. We want that growth to continue.”

Chrysler invested nearly $700 million to retool its Belvidere plant and ramp up production to build the new Dodge Dart. As part of its investment, Chrysler opened a 638,000 square-foot body shop to support production of the Dart and installed new machinery, tooling and material handling equipment. The new body shop increased the size of the Belvidere assembly plant to 4.8 million square feet. The plant also includes a 330,000-square-foot stamping plant. The Belvidere facility currently produces the Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot.

Chrysler Group LLC's Belvidere Assembly Plant was recognized as a winner of an Economic Development in Illinois Award (Edie). The annual award is given jointly by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the Illinois Development Council to recognize significant economic development projects finished in the prior year throughout Illinois. The Edies were formally presented at an event last week at the Illinois Chamber's annual meeting in Chicago

In fall 2010, Governor Quinn made a targeted investment which bolstered Chrysler’s expansion in Illinois and enabled the automaker to create an additional 1,800 new jobs. The state investment consists of Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) tax credits, Employer Training Investment Program (ETIP) job-training funds that will help enhance the skills of the company’s workforce, and Large Business Development Program funds for capital improvements. Chrysler is also located in an Enterprise Zone.

Illinois has added 136,300 private sector jobs since January 2010. Since January 2010, Illinois has added 40,700 manufacturing jobs.

For more information on why Illinois is the right place for any business, visit www.illinoisbiz.biz.

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Schilling Urges Senate Action to Save Illinois Jobs, Preserve National Security PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Business & Economy
Written by Andie Pivarunas   
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 10:52

Washington, DC – A study released last week by the National Association of Manufacturers indicates that across-the-board budget cuts to the Department of Defense scheduled to begin in January 2013 would cost approximately 1 million jobs at a time when the nation’s unemployment has remained at or above 8 percent for 40 consecutive months.  According to the NAM study, Illinois, with its 8.6 percent unemployment rate, is among the top 10 states to be impacted by job losses, with more than 35,400 jobs on the line in the next two years alone.

With the support of Congressman Bobby Schilling (IL-17) the House of Representatives in May passed H.R. 5652, the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act, which would provide mandatory spending cuts to reduce the deficit and replace automatic cuts to discretionary spending in 2013 under the Budget Control Act.  It also passed H.R. 4310, the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act.  To date, the Senate has passed neither.

This month House Armed Services Committee (HASC) Chairman Buck McKeon (CA-25) and Chairman of the HASC Subcommittee on Readiness, Congressman Randy Forbes (VA-04) joined Schilling in western and northern Illinois for discussions on the region’s defense manufacturing capabilities and how local communities will be impacted by defense cuts if sequestration is not avoided.  For more information on these discussions and the impact of massive cuts to defense on our region, see the Quad-City Times and the Rockford Register Star.

Schilling, a member of HASC, today released the following statement urging the United States Senate to take immediate action to preserve Illinois jobs and our national security:

“For 50 years in a row, the Congress has approved a defense authorization bill.  But in recent years, passage of that bill has become further and further delayed.  We in the House approved our bill before Memorial Day, yet as we approach the 4th of July the Senate has still not scheduled time for floor consideration of this vital legislation.

“Congressman Loebsack and I have succeeded in winning key provisions to help increase the Rock Island Arsenal’s ability to grow its workload and ensure that the Department of Defense recognizes in its overarching national security strategy the critical manufacturing work done at facilities like the Rock Island Arsenal.  The full Senate has yet to act.

“The military’s manufacturing base plays a fundamental role in our national security.  In Iraq in 2004, for example, the Rock Island Arsenal was able to respond to the enemy threat from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) by up-armoring our HUMVEES in as little as one-third of the time it would have taken the private sector because the necessary design, modeling, and manufacturing expertise was already operating and integrated at the Arsenal.  Countless lives were saved because our military could turn to the Rock Island Arsenal rather than wait for the private sector to design a solution.

“However, this critical manufacturing base is at risk not only because the Senate has not yet passed its NDAA but also because the Senate’s inaction on sequestration threatens to further reduce meaningful defense programs that support the arsenal.

“The Budget Control Act charged a ‘Super Committee’ with recommending $1.2 trillion in savings or risk mandatory, across-the-board cuts known as ‘sequestration.’  The Super Committee could not agree on spending reductions, but since then the House of Representatives has passed another annual budget, as required by law, as well as an alternate plan to achieve the savings we need to avoid an even greater debt crisis.  The Senate remains unwilling to act.

“The cost of this failure is well documented:  $50,000 of debt per American and rising.  With 10 kids and two grandkids, that’s over half a million dollars in national debt just sitting at our dinner table every Sunday.

“Less documented is the cost of looming sequestration.  Instead of working with the House on specific reductions and reforms to wasteful, outdated, or duplicative programs, the Senate is happy to risk slashing every program equally -- valuable or not.  This will protect spending that is not in the national interest, and devastate critical programs that can’t afford further cuts.

“Although national defense accounts for 20 percent of our spending, after sequestration it will have suffered more than 50 percent of the spending cuts.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says this is ‘their share of the burden,’ but I disagree.  Our military and their families have borne their fair share.

“Sequestration will mean fewer personnel and therefore longer and more frequent deployments; antiquated technology on the battlefield; and permanent loss of critical civilian expertise on our assembly lines, in our labs, and on our testing ranges at facilities like the Rock Island Arsenal, all of which pose a serious threat to our nation’s defense.

"The House of Representatives has offered a plan to avoid these devastating cuts to our national defense.  But the House cannot do it alone.  It is time for the Senate – especially the leadership of the Senate – to step up.

“I remember how long it took President Reagan to rebuild our military after the post-Vietnam cuts.  I urge those who care about the future of the Rock Island Arsenal, our region’s remarkable defense manufacturing capabilities, and our national defense to speak up and make your voices heard.  These cuts are avoidable, but only if our leaders put partisan politics aside, come together, and do the job they were elected to do for our community, our state, and the security of our great nation.

“Last year I voted for the Budget Control Act to change business as usual in Washington.  After years of both parties increasing our debt limit with no plan and no cuts, we passed a bipartisan bill to avoid default, cut spending, and change business as usual.  I hoped that after two and a half years of failing to do its job and pass a budget, the Senate would finally join the House, face reality, and do the tough work necessary to get our financial house in order, our economy back on track, and Americans back to work.  Unbelievably, the Senate continues to be content to fail.

“The Senate has gone more than three years without a budget.  They are sitting on more than 25 bipartisan House-passed jobs bills and have failed to advance a single appropriations bill this year.  The Senate showed no willingness to make meaningful spending reductions during the Super Committee process.  The Senate has yet to pass its version of this year’s defense bill, and now, with the meat cleaver hanging over the Department of Defense and by extension the hard-working men and women at the RIA, the Senate is once again A.W.O.L.  We need to get the Senate to work for the American people.”

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