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Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Illinois Government Job Cuts Announced

Citing the impact of the national economic crisis on Illinois’ revenues, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced a four-part plan to manage the state’s $2 billion fiscal year 2009 budget deficit, including plans to eliminate some Illinois jobs in the state government.

The Governor’s proposed plan includes passage of the Emergency Budget Act, which would give the Governor and other constitutional officers added authority to help them make additional cuts, a request to Congress for increased federal stimulus aid, and further administrative reductions in the agencies. In addition to these budget solutions, the Governor is also proposing short-term borrowing which will help manage the state’s cash flow and pay providers in a more timely matter.

“We have more difficult decisions to make. Illinois’ finances, like many other states across the nation, have felt consequences of the poor national economy. And like a family who has seen their income cut dramatically, we need to take fiscally responsible action to ensure the state can pay all of our bills and provide the core services that Illinoisans need,” said Governor Blagojevich.

Illinois is not alone in facing a FY09 budget shortfall due to lower than projected revenues. Yesterday, the New York Times reported that California faces an $11 billion shortfall and is concerned about paying bills this spring, New York has proposed $5.2 billion in “savings,” and Ohio may need a federal loan to cover unemployment costs. In total, 31 states and the District of Columbia are facing mid-year budget gaps, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

The Governor’s plan includes the following components:
Continued Belt Tightening – The Governor has already taken fiscally responsible steps by reducing the FY09 budget passed by the General Assembly by $1.4 billion, ordering all agencies to reduce spending by 3%, reducing the cost of core services, and decreasing headcount.

Emergency Budget Act – The Governor will propose legislation to give him the authority to hold back in contingency reserve as much as 8 percent of total appropriation and distributions for all General Funds spending, including agencies under the Governor, the State Board of Education, higher education, state’s pension funds, and funding to local governments.

Increased Federal Stimulus – Today Governor Blagojevich will send a letter to the congressional leadership detailing the effects that the poor economic condition has had on Illinois. The letter focuses on the areas that the State has identified with the greatest impact and requests more than $1 billion annually over the next three years.

Short-Term Borrowing – While short-term borrowing will not solve the budget deficit, the state needs to pay vendors on time and manage the state’s uneven cash flow. The Governor, the Comptroller and the Treasurer are currently working together on the borrowing plan.

“While I am dedicated to ending the year with a budget that works, I know I cannot do this alone. I am asking for support from state legislators and constitutional officers to help manage this budget in a way that continues to provide the services and programs that Illinois families need,” continued Governor Blagojevich.


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