GOVERNOR WANTS TAX INCREASE, MORE BORROWING
During his mid-morning press conference, Quinn advocated for both a tax increase and additional borrowing as a way to dig Illinois out of its budget quagmire.
He also directed state agencies to make substantial spending cuts in areas including travel, transportation, leasing, etc.
IS GOVERNOR COMMITTED TO CUTS?
There is a marked difference between cuts made by a governor who wants a tax increase, compared to a governor who is trying to live within the state’s means. Quinn has built two budgets around his belief that taxes must be increased, and consequently has failed to develop clear strategies or policies to reduce the cost and size of state government.
As the state moves forward, it will be interesting to see whether Quinn is taking action to manage spending or, once again, build support for his tax increase.
NEW LAWS TARGET BULLYING
Several bills were signed into law this week, including legislation targeting bullying in Illinois’ schools. Episodes of bullying that resulted in serious injury and even death have received national attention, leading school and government officials, parents and students to seek legislation that will stymie bullying practices.
Senate Bill 3266 (PA 96-0952) creates a School Bullying Prevention Task Force that will study the causes and consequences of bullying in schools in an attempt to identify promising anti-bullying programs. The new law also allows schools to teach gang resistance education, and requires school boards to collaborate with state and local police for gang resistant education and training.
Illinois schools are already required to have a bullying policy in place, which must be conveyed to parents and students on an annual basis. The policy must be updated every two years.