LAWMAKERS GIVE QUINN AN EXTRA MONTH TO LOOK AT BUDGET
It’s unknown how the new Governor will fill the budget gap, but lawmakers are giving him more time to pull together his Fiscal Year 2010 budget proposal.
Governor Quinn now has until March 18 to deliver his first budget address.
Many lawmakers are stressing the need to scale back programs and halt any expansions, while others speculate that a tax increase of some type is in the works.
SENATOR BRADY’S OFFICE ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR SCHOLARSHIPS
Students who will be attending state universities in Illinois and are interested in applying for the General Assembly Scholarship program must submit their applications to my office by March 2.
Students whose permanent addresses are located within the 44th District are eligible. Eight one-year tuition waivers – for fall 2009, spring and summer 2010 – are available to undergraduate or graduate students who will be attending state universities, with scholarships specifically designated for nursing, agriculture, and a veteran or the child of a veteran.
A panel of community and education leaders will evaluate applications and select scholarship recipients. I will not be involved in the decision-making process.
All requests for applications must be sent in letter form to my office, 2203 Eastland Drive, Suite 3, Bloomington, IL 61704. Please include the student’s home and school addresses (if applicable) and phone numbers. Information about the program is also available on my Web site at http://brady.senategop.net/.
General Assembly Scholarships are presented by all Illinois lawmakers to college students across the state. Selection is based upon merit of the applicants.
SENATOR BRADY RENEWS CALL FOR CHANGE IN I.H.F.P.B. LEADERSHIP
A week after the Illinois Senate voted unanimously to impeach Gov. Rod Blagojevich, I am renewing my call for a change in the leadership of the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board and for the creation of an agency independent of the Governor’s office to bolster the integrity of the process used to site hospitals and other healthcare facilities throughout Illinois.
The week of the Senate Impeachment Tribunal was tough. Even though many of us legislators have seen the results of the Administration’s mismanagement these many years, it was staggering to hear of the breadth of the arrogance and the wrong-doing. It was an honor to be a part of the proceedings and to be entrusted with the decisions that resulted. We have now closed a sad chapter in the history of Illinois, but we have much more to do. We need to take a hard look at what went wrong, shine a bright light in every nook and cranny, and rid our government of corruption.
A review should be made of the Health Facilities Planning Board and its leaders, because it has been mentioned many times in the swirl of events surrounding Blagojevich and his Administration.
The General Assembly four years ago purged every board member from the Health Facilities Planning Board regardless of their ties to the corrupting influences of convicted insider Tony Rezko and others, but the former Governor’s Administration allowed the Board’s executive leadership to remain in place.
There is still too much status quo at the Board for us to say we have finished our job. While I am not suggesting any wrongdoing by the Board’s staff or current members, we must be ever vigilant and continue to look at measures to restore the public’s confidence in the Board’s actions and activities.
Even with the reforms affecting the Board that will be considered by the General Assembly this spring, I believe we must demand even higher standards to safeguard the best interests of the citizens of Illinois who need and deserve reasonable access to quality healthcare facilities in their communities.