The maneuver drew even more criticism when the Governor announced that unless the necessary capital appropriations were approved, he lacked authority to finance the state’s road construction projects. Faced with opposition from House Democrats, Republicans in both chambers, and even the Governor, Senate Democrats relented and allowed a “clean” capital construction bill to pass.
Senate Bill 2414 contains the new appropriations for all annual pay-as-you-go capital (roads, transit, natural resources, outdoor recreation, drinking water, wastewater, etc). It also contains reappropriations that have not yet been spent from the FY10 Multi-Year Capital Plan that was passed by the General Assembly in May 2009.
The measure totals $28.1 billion and includes $3.0 billion in new appropriations (pay-as-you-go) and $25.1 billion in reappropriations. Senate Bill 2414 does not contain any expansion of the $31 billion multi-year capital plan, which was requested by Governor Quinn in his introduced budget.
LAWMAKERS CUT SALARIES
In other news, lawmakers made cuts to their salary, lodging and travel reimbursements. Senate Bill 266 was passed to require lawmakers to take 12 furlough days in the upcoming Fiscal Year 2012. They will also receive less in reimbursements for their travel, lodging and meal costs.
The legislation also prohibits cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for legislators, state’s attorneys and elected executive branch constitutional officers. This includes members of state departments, agencies, boards and commissions whose annual compensation was previously determined by the Compensation Review Board.
SECURING FEDERAL MATCH DOLLARS
Also on June 22, legislators approved Senate Bill 1633, which allows the state to make a $1.3 billion payment on Medicaid bills by June 30.
This action will garner the state an extra $70-$75 million in enhanced federal match dollars. The measure allows the state to take advantage of available federal funds without the additional borrowing pushed by the Quinn Administration.