Gov. Ryan commends legislative
Expert panel, HPA to govern
library and museum
action on Lincoln Presidential Library
Gov. George Ryan applauded the
General Assembly’s passage of a bill creating an operating structure
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum through a
reorganization of the
Historic Preservation Agency.
The legislation, passed by the
General Assembly as an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2003 budget,
effectively forms two entities within the Illinois Historic
Preservation Agency — one for the oversight of state historic sites
and one for administration of the Lincoln Presidential Library.
“In preparation of the opening of the
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library this fall, we have developed a
governing structure and home within state government for this monumental
project,” said Gov. Ryan. “With this reorganization, we will fulfill our
pledge to maintain oversight of the library and museum within state
government, yet still allow for a more independent operation as
befitting an entity of this monumental importance.”
The legislation requires the creation of
an advisory board of the Lincoln Presidential Library to advise the
library and the future library director. Eleven individuals with
expertise in history, research, cultural institutions, archives,
libraries, business or education will be appointed by the governor to
six-year terms with the consent of the Senate. The initial members’
terms will be one to six years.
The advisory board will work together
Lincoln Library Foundation and recommend programs for implementation
in support of the mission and goals of the Lincoln Presidential Library,
recommend seminars or other conferences, and report annually to the
governor, the General Assembly and the board of the Historic
The historic sites in the state of
Illinois will be overseen by a 15-member group known as the Illinois
Historic Sites Advisory Council. Council members will be appointed by
the director of the Historic Preservation Agency for three-year terms
and will include at least three historians, three architectural
historians or architects with a preservation background, and at least
Last October, Gov. Ryan asked a
six-member blue-ribbon panel to advise him in the selection of a
director for the Lincoln Presidential Library. The search committee made
initial recommendations regarding the governing structure for the
library and museum, the scope and responsibilities of the key positions,
and developed an outline of the requisite qualifications which
candidates for director will be evaluated. The committee is currently
conducting a nationwide search for qualified individuals and will report
their list of final candidates to Gov. Ryan.
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Governor Ryan noted House Minority
Leader Lee Daniels’ strong support for the library project and the
So far, the panel has outlined a set
of goals for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum,
including preserving the stature and reputation of President
Lincoln, allowing for research and scholarship related to Lincoln’s
legacy, creating an exhibition center for Lincoln artifacts, and
sponsoring education, outreach and scholarly research.
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential
Library and Museum is a $115 million project that is a partnership
state of Illinois, the
city of Springfield and the
The complex will offer programs and
public policy institutes in cooperation with the
University of Illinois at Springfield. The library will house
the world’s largest collection of Lincoln artifacts and documents —
46,000 items — as well as state-of-the-art exhibits that bring
Lincoln’s legacy to life.
The library and museum complex is
located in downtown Springfield, a few blocks from several important
Illinois’ Old State Capitol, where Lincoln served in the General
Assembly; his former law offices; the only home he ever owned; and
the railroad depot where he made his famous farewell speech to his
A live camera shot connected to the
Internet currently shows a broad view of the construction area in
downtown Springfield. To watch the Lincoln Library’s construction,
Lincolncam. Several views will zoom in on the library, the
next-door site of the museum and nearby Union Station, a historic
train depot that will be converted into a gateway building for the
library and museum complex.
[Illinois Government News Network
First sewer bids in under
Joe Pisula of Donohue and Associates, design engineers
for the wastewater treatment plant, told the Lincoln City Council
Monday evening that costs of materials for the upgrade to the city’s
sewer plant have come in about 22 percent below estimates. That’s
good news for city residents and businesses, who have already seen
one hike in their sewer bills this year because of the need to make
improvements to the city’s wastewater treatment plant to meet
current Illinois Environmental Protection Agency standards.
Depending on the
final cost of the plant and the number of grants the city can get,
another raise in rates will be coming by the middle of next year.
More grants and lower costs will mean less of a rate hike the second
Grant Eaton, sewer
plant manager, said the city saved from $350,000 to $375,000
altogether by bidding the equipment directly to the manufacturers,
rather than having the general contractors bid the equipment.
The city council
approved bids totaling $646,843 for nine pieces of equipment. The
amount budgeted for the equipment was $832,095, a savings of
$185,252. Equipment included screens, pumps, grit removal equipment,
clarification equipment and blowers. All bids are subject to IEPA
No bids that met the
requirements were received for one item, a belt filter press, and
only one bid that met specifications was received on each of the
other nine items, Pisula said.
This was no surprise,
he added, because the bids are "very specific," as required by the
IEPA. The IEPA can impose these requirements because all of the
money to upgrade the plant will come from a 20-year low-interest
loan from that agency.
[to top of second column in
Pisula held up a
thick set of documents to show what bidders have to do to meet IEPA
requirements. "Non-compliance is common," he said. "The
specifications are very convoluted, worse than the IRS, but those
are the rules."
Although some bids
came in at a lower cost than those that were accepted, these bidders
did not fill out and sign all of the required documents, he said.
"You are better
advised to stick to our specifications than allow those who did not
comply to come in again with another bid. The IEPA or the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency can come in and inspect the project
at any time and can pull the loan," Pisula said.
The belt filter press
will be bid with Bid Package 2, which is for electrical and general
contracting work. These bids will be opened June 11.
Mark Mathon, city
engineer, said he thought the city would see the rest of the project
come in under the amount budgeted, but he wouldn’t want to speculate
about how much.
Eaton has said he
hopes to see construction start in mid to late August. Actual
construction is expected to take 240 working days.
Failure to upgrade the plant could mean
the IEPA would no longer allow new hookups, and growth in the city
would come to a halt.
Cool, wet spring
Will it be a warmer-than-average
statewide average rainfall of 7.52 inches (3.26 inches and 77
percent above average) and temperature of 58 F (4.6 F below
average), May 2002 is the eighth wettest, coldest May on record in
Illinois since 1895," says Jim Angel, state climatologist with the
Illinois State Water Survey, a
division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
May 2002 precipitation (inches)
precipitation in May fell in an area roughly bounded by Interstates
72 and 70 [see map]. This is the fourth wettest April-May period in
Illinois since 1895, with 12.72 inches of rainfall (4.65 inches and
58 percent above average). With year-to-date precipitation of 20.51
inches (5.02 inches and 33 percent above average) statewide, it’s
also the ninth wettest January-May period since 1895," states Angel.
While the widespread
flooding experienced in Illinois may lead to comparisons with 1993,
the timing was different. The April-May rainfall for 1993 was 8.48
inches, 0.55 inches above average, but much less than this year. The
flooding in 1993 was more of a summer event, with the July-August
rainfall of that year at 18.34 inches (6.80 inches and 59 percent
above average), the wettest on record since 1895.
[to top of second column in
received more than a foot of rain in May. Beecher City reported
12.82 inches, Lovington reported 12.48 inches, Hardin reported 12.47
inches, and Medora reported 12.21 inches. Beecher City also reported
the most precipitation for the April-May period, 19.69 inches,
almost half the average annual precipitation in Effingham County.
All this cool, wet
weather in April and May led to flooding and planting delays
throughout the state. Even corn planted before the wet weather has
progressed slowly. Ironically, delays in planting and crop
development meant that little damage was reported when record-low
temperatures occurred in northern Illinois on May 21 (31 F in
Chicago, 29 F in Rockford, 30 F in Freeport and 25 F in Streamwood).
In addition to heavy
rainfall, May also had its share of severe weather. A tornado in
Centralia resulted in two deaths and 15 serious injuries on May 8.
There were numerous reports of hail and wind damage across southern
Illinois on May 1, 6, 8, 11 and 12.
Based on historical data back to 1895,
wet summers do not necessarily follow wet springs. In fact, there is
little correlation between wet springs and summer rainfall. However,
warmer-than-average summers are less likely to occur following wet
Kingston, editor, Illinois State Water Survey]
Earlier Sunday drinking hours
bring controversy to the council
Should Lincoln residents be able to buy a drink at 11
a.m. on Sundays? Eight of the 10 city alderman thought so and voted
yes Monday night, in spite of fervent pleas from Alderman Glenn
Shelton and three members of the audience not to allow liquor to be
sold during what has traditionally been church time.
The request, brought
to the council several weeks ago by a group of liquor license
holders, asks that the present 1 p.m. opening time on Sunday be
pushed back to 11 a.m. so patrons of sports bars and those who go to
early brunch can order liquor.
The move for the
earlier Sunday hours isn’t new; it was part of a proposed change in
the liquor code which the ordinance committee worked out a year and
a half ago under the Joan Ritter administration, but which never got
"I don’t want our
town with a name that this is the place you come on Sunday mornings
to drink," Shelton said. "I know we can do better. We can
compromise. Eleven o’clock is too early."
suggested that Alderman Steve Fuhrer, who is now chairman of the
ordinance and zoning committee and who brought up the early Sunday
hours for the vote, has a conflict of interest. Fuhrer’s wife,
Susie, owns the Blue Dog Inn and holds a liquor license.
He said that even
though the city attorney two years ago, Jonathan Wright, gave it as
his opinion that Fuhrer had no monetary interest in his wife’s
establishment, the situation has changed now that Fuhrer is
ordinance committee chairman. Shelton himself was ordinance and
zoning committee chairman when the liquor license changes were
Shelton asked for an
opinion on the conflict of interest issue from the present city
attorney, Bill Bates, and also for a written opinion from the
Illinois attorney general’s office.
"Let us see that we
are on solid ground before we vote on something," he said.
Bates said that
although he hadn’t done "exhaustive research," he did not see a
conflict of interest for Fuhrer. "Even though he is chairman of the
committee, he still has only one vote," Bates said.
Shelton that he had been on the ordinance committee when the liquor
license issue was discussed during the Ritter administration and
that both Wright and local attorney Nick Burgrabe had said there was
not a conflict of interest.
He told the council
he did not intend to "step away from this and not vote," even though
that had been suggested.
"It has nothing to do
with my wife’s business. She’s not open on Sunday; she’s not going
to start a microbrewery; and she doesn’t need another liquor
Along with the
earlier Sunday hours, the resolution calls for one extra license
category to allow for a microbrewery and the addition of two more
Class A package liquor licenses, bringing the total to 15.
Also, Fuhrer said,
people have been waiting for almost two years for a decision on
early Sunday hours. Under the previous administration, he said, "We
spent hours and hours on this, and then it got dropped. I don’t want
to take another six months to get something worked out."
Before the council’s
discussion, three members of the audience spoke to oppose the
earlier Sunday hours.
"I am concerned about
the message we are going to send to this community, especially to
young people," Gerald Carter said.
[to top of second column in
"In this room, many
years ago, people were packed down the stairs and out to the
sidewalk regarding this issue. The decision made then was correct,
not to change from 1 p.m. back to 11 o’clock.
"Sunday is a day that
means a lot to people in this community. Most people are in church
or going to church during these hours.
"Those who want this
changed already have 6˝ days to sell liquor. Now they want another
two hours. The ordinance as it now stands is sufficient. I urge you
not to change it."
Charles Hamilton said
he had been in Lincoln for more than 50 years and had seen many good
things happen, but he didn’t think earlier Sunday hours would be one
"When I came to
Lincoln, Wednesday was church night. Schools didn’t schedule
meetings on Wednesday night. Now coaches can insist that students
attend practice any time, even on Sunday. Is this good?" he asked.
"Logan County has one
of the highest per capita alcohol consumption rates. Is this good?
"We have lost several
teenagers lately in alcohol-related accidents. Is this good?"
Oscar Owens, pastor
of the Full Gospel Church, said the city is sending the wrong
message when it extends Sunday drinking hours.
He said he had been a
pastor in Lincoln for 25 years and had seen a lot of reports of
people driving while intoxicated each week. He said he was also
amazed that liquor could be purchased in gas stations.
"We tell our young
people that marijuana and cocaine are bad, but alcohol is all
right," he said. "I entreat you with all my heart, please send the
Speaking up in favor
of the earlier hours, liquor license holder Sean Taylor said the
issue was not about young people but about adults.
"I respect your
opinions completely," he said to those who objected, "but I want to
increase my business so I can succeed. I ask that you look at it
Fuhrer said he
realized it was a "constant battle" to keep alcohol away from young
people, but he did not believe he was sending the wrong message.
"I don’t see where
two hours is going to hurt the city. I go to church every Sunday
morning. People that are going to go to church will go to church.
People that are going to frequent places that serve alcohol may not
be church persons. People that are going to drink are going to
A compromise, a
suggestion by Alderman Verl Prather that the council not allow
alcohol to be served until noon on Sunday, got lost in the shuffle,
and the council passed the resolution allowing sales to being at 11
a.m. with only two no votes, from Shelton and Benny Huskins.
Huskins, however, pointed out that the
vote isn’t the last call on the Sunday hours issue. The resolution
as passed only directs the city attorney to draw up an ordinance
changing the hours. The council must still pass the ordinance before
liquor can be served in Lincoln on Sunday earlier than 1 p.m.
City to hire one new
In spite of the budget crunch facing the city and the
hiring freeze put in place recently, the Lincoln City Council voted
8-2 Monday evening to hire a new police officer to replace Chris
Carmichael is one of
two officers who resigned this year. He will leave the department in
mid-June to join the state police. Carmichael has represented the
Lincoln Police Department on a six-county drug task force, the
Central Illinois Enforcement Group.
Police Chief Rich
Montcalm has said it is vital to replace Carmichael, because in
order to remain a member of the task force the city must have an
officer on the force. He said that if Carmichael is not replaced and
the city wants to remain in the task force, the department would
have to eliminate its community police program.
Alderman Pat Madigan
moved to hire one new officer, to begin training by June 17.
"I’m going to vote
for this replacement," Alderman Verl Prather told the council.
"Voting for it doesn’t mean we’re not in a financial bind, but we
need to keep the task force and the community police program going."
"I’ll be voting no,
after being finance chairman last year," Alderman Steve Fuhrer said.
"We came up short $280,000 last year. Actually we don’t have the
money to spend. I cannot in good conscience vote to hire somebody in
two weeks and then lay off someone later."
Fuhrer has said
several times that if the budget cannot be kept in balance, it may
be necessary to lay off some city workers.
[to top of second column in
"We must make do with
what we have," he continued. "The reason we have some of these
officers is the COPS grant we got four years ago. Now the grant has
run out and we are paying for it."
The grant paid 75
percent of the salary and benefits of one police officer for three
years, after which the city had to pick up the cost.
"This is a really
tough vote but I am going for it," Alderman Joe Stone said.
"The task force is
pretty important," Alderman George Mitchell added. "It is not like
we are hiring any more officers," he added.
"We lost two and only
replace one," Alderman Benny Huskins said, noting that the new
officer’s wages would be lower than Carmichael’s.
The other officer who
resigned was Mike Buchanan, who will not be replaced.
The council voted 8-2 to hire the new
officer, with Fuhrer and Dave Armbrust voting no. The new officer
will begin training on June 17, or, if that class is closed, can
start the following week, Chief Montcalm said.
of a balanced budget
SPRINGFIELD — AFSCME Council 31’s leadership today hailed
the Illinois General Assembly’s passage of a balanced budget
yesterday after a long and difficult legislative session.
"There are victories
and there are losses for AFSCME in this budget," said Henry Bayer,
Council 31 executive director. "But the General Assembly has
fulfilled its responsibility to deliver a balanced budget to the
governor." On Thursday, May 30 the General Assembly rejected an
unbalanced budget and proceeded, over the next three days, to make
additional cuts and secure additional revenue initiatives until the
budget was balanced, said Bayer
"This is what the
governor asked for, and this is what the elected officials of
Illinois delivered," he continued. "For months before these final
days of negotiations, thousands of Illinois citizens have
participated in this process, making their concerns clear to
[to top of second column in
legislators for blocking the closure of prisons and the closure and
downsizing of several mental health facilities. "Legislators
carefully looked at the social costs to the state to cut these
services, and they concluded that they were too high. Those costs
will be just as high at the end of this month as they were at the
end of last month."
Thousands of AFSCME members have lobbied
legislators since the budget crisis began. Months of in-district
meetings, pickets, letter writing and phone calls culminated with
5,000 AFSCME members at the Capitol for a May 7 lobby day. Members
will continue this activism until the budget and revenue measures
are signed into law, Bayer said.
[News release from AFSCME Council 31,
The American Federation of State, County
and Municipal Employees]
Budget keeps LDC open
SPRINGFIELD — After much discussion and controversy,
Illinois lawmakers sent a budget to the governor Sunday, according
to Sen. Larry Bomke, R-Springfield. Among the changes from proposals
earlier in the week, this plan includes funding to keep Lincoln
Developmental Center open.
"I’m thrilled that
Lincoln Developmental Center will remain open under this budget
plan, but I’m sure the parents of LDC residents are even more happy
to hear this news," said Bomke. "They have fought with me to keep
this facility operational because they believe it is best for their
children’s well-being. This is a great victory for them, and I would
hope the governor agrees and signs off on this funding."
This budget, like the
one approved by the Senate earlier in the week, includes $25 million
Bomke hopes the Illinois Department of Corrections will use to avoid
privatization of food services at state correctional facilities.
Layoffs were again
included in the plan, much to Bomke’s dismay, but with the
proposal he sponsored, many of those layoffs may be unnecessary.
More than 7,000 employees are expected to take advantage of the
plan, and only 6,500 were targeted for layoffs.
Overall, the budget
totals nearly $23 billion in general revenue funds, which may force
the governor to use his veto powers.
Details of the plan
• $1.5 million from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential
Library and Museum Fund to the University of Illinois Springfield
for governmental studies.
[to top of second column in this
• No general tax increase and no pension bonding.
• Increased taxes on cigarettes and wealthy riverboats
and "limited securitization" of tobacco settlement funds with state
• Restoration of a portion of the Medicaid reductions,
to ensure access to health care and that the state pays its bills to
hospitals and health-care providers on time.
• Expanded funding for the school construction program.
• Full restoration of payments to service providers who
work with developmentally disabled and mentally ill patients.
• Nearly full funding for categorical grants to
• Short-term borrowing to allow the state to pay its
backlog of bills. Without this, vendors may be forced to borrow at
• Decoupling from a federal corporate tax break on
capital investments to save the state and local government money.
Paying back the Rainy Day Fund to ensure future budget stability.
General Assembly passes
Keeps Lincoln Developmental Center
SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Senate gave final legislative
approval Sunday night to a new state budget. Sen. Claude "Bud" Stone
said it’s a realistic plan, given the current economic climate in
"For the first time
in nearly a half-century, Illinois is faced with a budget year
showing a decrease in revenue over year-ago income," said Stone.
"That has led to several difficult decisions this year, including
cutting spending and raising revenues in order to erase financial
red ink of nearly two billion dollars."
Stone said the plan
approved on the last day of session reflects the provisions unveiled
in a proposal made by Senate Republicans in late April. Those Senate
Republican provisions include a $500 million reduction in the state
bureaucracy, the defeat of an income tax hike as was proposed,
maintaining the viability and stability of state future pension
obligations, and a 50 percent restoration of Medicaid funding cuts
proposed by the governor back in February.
"The Medicaid program
is a vital program to ensure access to health care for all," said
Stone. This plan includes $330 million for hospitals, nursing homes,
pharmacies, practitioners and managed-care providers."
The plan also keeps
education a top priority. "The plan protects education from the
budget cuts, with $6.2 billion for elementary and secondary
education, a minimum level of $4,560 per student in state aid, and
$1 billion for the successful school construction grant program,"
"I’m also very
pleased this plan adds back funding to keep the Lincoln
Developmental Center and the Zeller Mental Health Center open," he
legislation, the Senate approved funding measures to fill a revenue
hole in the budget plan. Those measures authorize a 40-cent-per-pack
cigarette tax increase ($240 million), which will also be used to
partially fund an expansion of the school construction program; a
hike in the riverboat gaming tax ($130 million); and a decoupling
from the federal stimulus package ($240 million), which will keep
equipment depreciation at its current level.
The legislature also
authorized the state to borrow up to $1 billion to end the backlog
of overdue bills. The state can borrow the funds for about 2 percent
annual interest, as opposed to forcing vendors and service providers
to borrow at rates four times as high in order to meet an income
shortfall due to overdue payments from the state.
The following is a
list of state government improvements to public infrastructure
within the 45th Senate District:
• Lincoln College, $2 million
• Springlake Conservation Area, $500,000
• Weldon Springs State Park, $40,000
• $1,500,000 for AgriFirst.
• Restores funding for the Hanna City Work Camp
• $2.5 million for coal research and development
• $1 million for continued ethanol research.
Elementary and secondary education
• $33 million for mandated programs (94 percent
• $184 million for the Early Childhood Development
• $1.8 million for agricultural education programs.
• Public universities would be funded at governor’s GRF
• $35 million for the grants under the Monetary Award
[to top of second column in this
• $5.0 million for full-year funding of 110 new
emergency CILAs for developmentally disabled people.
• $2.45 million in transitional funding for 100 CILA
placements for the developmentally disabled.
• $40.9 million, or 18.3 percent increase for the Home
• Includes full restoration of funding to human
services providers, which was not included in the governor’s
original FY03 budget recommendation. This amount includes an
additional $16.5 million for MI Community Service grants, an
additional $32.8 million for community-based services for the
developmentally disabled and an additional $20.1 million for
long-term care for the developmentally disabled.
• $616.2 million for the department’s child-care
program, with no increase in child-care co-pay.
• $36.0 million for the Illinois Open Land Trust
• $5.2 million for Conservation 2000 projects and the
Illinois Rivers Initiative.
• Implement SeniorCare program, offering expanded
pharmaceutical drug assistance to all senior at or below 250 percent
of the federal poverty level.
• $24 million for KidCare, to cover an additional
• $1 million to fund Public Water Supply Vulnerability
• $14 million to fund the Brownfields Redevelopment
• $252 million for financial assistance to local
governments for sewer systems and wastewater treatment facilities.
• $98 million for financial assistance to local
governments and privately owned community water suppliers, for
drinking water infrastructure projects.
• Fully funds the Circuit Breaker/Pharmaceutical
Assistance program. The FY03 appropriation of $138,500,000 will
cover 256,000 property tax grants and 62,000 pharmaceutical
• $7,375,800 for the Elder Abuse and Neglect program.
• $6,618,500 for home-delivered meals.
• Funding for 50 new cadets in FY03.
• $2.3 billion for the FY03 road program.
• Increase of $4.1 million to downstate public
• FY03 budget includes $45.6 million for rail
transportation, including $27.0 million to continue work toward
development of high-speed rail passenger service between Chicago and
• Includes $10.6 million for Amtrak.
The Fiscal Year 2003 budget, approved by
the Senate and House now heads to the governor for consideration.
Fiscal Year 2003 runs from July 1, 2002, through June 30, 2003.
bill heads to governor
SPRINGFIELD — The long-awaited early retirement package
for state employees is on its way to the Governor, according to Sen.
Larry Bomke, chief sponsor of the proposal. Nearly 7,365 state
employees are expected to take advantage of the plan, which would
allow them to purchase up to five years of age and five years of
"I expect the
governor to sign this legislation into law swiftly," said Bomke,
R-Springfield. "This is certainly good news for state employees —
both those who want to retire and those in danger of layoffs during
the budget crunch — but the bottom line is early retirement is good
for the entire state of Illinois for the cost savings."
Once signed into law,
state employees may begin to elect early retirement beginning Aug.
1. To qualify for the plan, employees must be off state payroll by
Dec. 31 and cannot be hired back or return to state service on
[to top of second column in this
Employees must meet
existing eligibility requirements for retirement, either under the
"Rule of 85" (age and years of creditable service equal at least
85), at age 55 with 25 years of service, or at age 60 with eight
years of service.
Additionally, House Bill 2671 allows
employees to claim pension credit for voluntary or involuntary
furlough days. SERS members may apply for up to five days of service
credit for voluntary or involuntary furlough between Dec. 1, 2002,
and Jan. 1, 2003.
Governor commends General Assembly for working together in a
bipartisan effort to pass state budget
$54 billion spending bill will allow
state government to continue providing essential services
SPRINGFIELD — Gov. George
Ryan today congratulated the Illinois General Assembly for passing a
Fiscal Year 2003 budget that reduces appropriations by $600 million
from Fiscal Year 2002. The $54 billion FY03 budget is a compromise
agreement that includes a mixture of spending cuts and new revenues.
"I want to thank all of the members of
both houses on both sides of the aisle for taking up the challenge I
laid out for them a week ago," Gov. Ryan said. "For the first time
in almost a half-century our revenues are less than the year before.
Tough choices had to be made, and the members of the General
Assembly made a good-faith effort to work in a bipartisan manner and
put a budget on my desk."
This budget includes General Revenue
Fund spending of about $22.8 billion. It includes restored funding
for health care and social service programs as well as an investment
in children, which includes a $1 billion school construction
The legislature also passed additional
revenues totaling $810 million.
• $365 million will be
raised through new taxes on tobacco and gaming. A 40-cent increase
on cigarettes will generate 235 million in new dollars. Increasing
taxes at riverboat casinos and boosting the admission fee for
riverboat casinos from its current level of $2 to $3 will generate
• The governor has been
granted the authority to raise up to $750 million by issuing general
obligation bonds repaid by future payments for the tobacco
settlement, building cash balances in the general funds and budget
[to top of second column in this
• Decoupling from the
federal depreciation provisions and maintaining the current
depreciation allowances for state taxes will save Illinois $240
million and local governments $150 million
• Reallocating $205
million of existing revenue will involve keeping the state sales tax
on photo processing in the state treasury (generating $25 million),
reallocating a portion of the real estate transfer tax (generating
$15 million), and transferring approximately $165 million of surplus
balances in other state funds to general funds.
Gov. Ryan will thoroughly review all of
the components of the compromise budget when it reaches his desk,
and he will use his executive powers to ensure it is balanced.
review the budget bill, we will be able to continue providing
important funding for educating our children, providing critical
health-care services to the poor and expanding pharmaceutical
assistance for senior citizens in the next fiscal year," Gov. Ryan
[Illinois Government News Network
Wright takes stand against
‘backward’ budget process
SPRINGFIELD — State
Rep. Jonathan Wright voted "no" on the state budget, taking a stand
against the "backward" procedure in which legislators were asked to
vote to spend money they weren’t yet sure they had.
"It makes absolutely
no sense to me that we are asked to vote on the spending portion of
the budget days before the revenue portion of the plan has even been
finalized. In other words, we’re voting on how to spend money we’re
not even sure we have yet. We wouldn’t manage or families’ budgets
that way. We shouldn’t manage the state budget that way either,"
According to Wright,
the plan approved by the General Assembly in overtime session
includes a combination of cost reductions, funding cuts and tax
increases to bring the budget into balance. He said that while it is
an improvement over previous budget plans, he could not support the
tax increases or the cuts to Medicaid providers that were not fully
"This plan was a vast
improvement over what we had been working with in recent weeks, and
I am very pleased that we were able to secure the funding required
to support 240 residents at the Lincoln Developmental Center. That
said, there are also areas that I continue to be very concerned
about, such as the 30 percent cut in Medicaid, and the tax increases
that simply weren’t necessary," Wright said.
"My House Republican colleagues and I
combed through state agencies’ budgets with the budget directors and
identified more than $700 million in unnecessary spending that could
be cut without impacting services to those in need. Had all of those
cuts been included in the budget, we would have had a balanced plan
and fully restored Medicaid funding — no tax increase necessary."
Broadwell man loses life in single-vehicle accident
Mark Allen Babbitt, 34, of Broadwell
lost his life in a single-vehicle accident Sunday morning. Babbitt
was declared dead at 3:10 a.m., according to Logan County Coroner
Chuck Fricke. The accident took place one-half mile north of
Broadwell when Babbitt lost control of his pickup truck and it
autopsy was conducted Monday morning.
County and state police are investigating.
Agency ready to
fill the gap for homeless
1, 2002] The
Salvation Army of Lincoln and Logan County
has just taken a giant step toward helping those who are most in
need in our community and surrounding area. Logan County is in need
of a transitional housing shelter. The agency is looking to fill
that large gap. On Friday, May 24, they kicked off a capital
building program at 307 N. Kickapoo St., the site where the new
facility will be built.
There is no homeless
or emergency shelter anywhere in Logan County! The need
just keeps growing! While our streets are not lined with
vagrants at night, there are numerous homeless people in the county
trying to survive. They float from friend to friend, live out of
their cars or survive by any means available. "The Army fills a
niche that our churches cannot," explains Dr. Mark Searby, advisory
The work of the
Salvation Army is all about bettering the lives of the people
who live in the communities served, including Lincoln and throughout
Logan County. Its doctrine follows the mainstream of Christian
belief, and its articles of faith emphasize God’s saving purposes.
For virtually the entire 20th century, the Lincoln community has
been able to turn to the Salvation Army in times of need. The
new building will enable the organization to expand their community
outreach and involvement.
The Salvation Army
has worked well with other agencies in our community, integrating
services and often picking up loose ends.
"The Salvation Army
provides invaluable services to the city of Lincoln. We look forward
to working with the Salvation Army in providing assistance to the
needy members of the community and for the assistance they provide
to the police department and other emergency services," said former
Chief Rich Ludolph from the Lincoln Police Department.
As a whole, the
agency is respected for their works throughout the United States.
"The Salvation Army is by far the most effective organization in the
United States. No one has ever come close to it in respect to
clarity of mission, ability to innovate, measurable results and
putting money to maximum use." — Peter Drucker, Forbes Magazine.
Last year alone
nearly 600 people received Salvation Army assistance at home in
Meet Michael Lee
Michael is a veteran
who finds himself unemployed because of a medical condition that
makes it impossible to do even light lifting without surgery. He has
neither medical insurance nor public aid, though he has made
numerous Social Security appeals. He lives on $125 worth of food
stamps a month and adds to his income by selling items of junk he
has collected from the streets. Michael is essentially unemployable,
yet he qualifies for no assistance.
Michael cannot live
without colostomy bags which, for the past year, have been paid for
by the Salvation Army. He’s formed a special bond with the director,
"I’d be in bad shape
without the Salvation Army," Michael says, "For as long as I have
been in Lincoln, they have been the only ones helping me. They help
people where they need it."
Services the Salvation Army currently
*Clothing and food
Expanding for the future
The Salvation Army plans to:
*Expand services to
include programs that will offer hope for struggling parents and
*Continue to grow in
offering help for the hungry and homeless.
development classes and training programs that promote healthy and
[to top of second column in this
[First floor of Salvation Army house]
[Click on diagram to enlarge]
[Second floor of Salvation Army house]
[Click on diagram to enlarge]
"We are excited about strengthening the future of our community! We
want to raise $570,000 toward this new facility. This will enable us
to expand our work, meet the needs of our county and continue to
branch into new areas of service. We know we can count on your
support to get this project completed!" — The Salvation Army
of Lincoln and Logan County
The Salvation Army
motto: Meeting physical needs of people through a spiritual focus,
all around the world.
Budget breakdown for projected new
The project is
expected to cost $700,000.
building construction and contingency: $390,000
Shelter setup: $85,000
Operations endowment: $200,000
Campaign and office expense: $25,000
The Salvation Army
has $130,000 from capital and insurance from the previous shelter
fire, leaving a balance of $570,000 needed.
Dining room: $25,000
rooms: $15,000 each
Living room: $10,000
Play area: $7,500
Logan County Salvation Army board
Dr. Mark Searby
State Rep. Jonathan Wright is chairman of
the campaign. Dean Langdon co-chairs.
Logan County included in the additional 38 counties declared
SPRINGFIELD — Gov. George Ryan announced Thursday that 38
additional counties have been added to the federal disaster
declaration President Bush issued earlier this month. These counties
sustained damage from the recent storms, tornadoes and flooding in
Illinois. Gov. Ryan requested that these 38 counties be added, based
on a review of damage assessments gathered by federal and state
disaster recovery officials.
The newly declared
counties include Adams, Bond, Brown, Calhoun, Cass, Champaign,
Christian, Clark, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, DeWitt, Douglas,
Edgar, Ford, Fulton, Greene, Hancock, Iroquois, Jersey, Lawrence,
Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Mason, McDonough, Menard, Montgomery,
Morgan, Moultrie, Piatt, Pike, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby,
Vermilion and Wabash.
These counties were
added for individual assistance programs under the major disaster
declaration issued by President Bush on May 21. Assistance will be
made available to homeowners, renters and businesses to help them
recover from the severe weather system that began on April 21. This
new designation brings the total number of Illinois counties
eligible to apply for the individual assistance to 68.
"I appreciate the
federal government acting quickly to approve these counties for
federal assistance," Gov. Ryan said. "This assistance will allow
individuals and business owners an opportunity to begin rebuilding
and repairing their damaged property."
[to top of second column in this
and business owners may apply for assistance by calling the
toll-free registration number, 1 (800) 621-3362, between 8 a.m. and
6 p.m. seven days a week until further notice. A wide range of state
and federal disaster assistance programs that are available include
funding for temporary housing, Small Business Administration
low-interest loans for individuals and businesses to repair or
replace damaged property, disaster unemployment assistance, and
grants for serious needs and necessary expenses not met by other
When calling to make application, it is
recommended that callers have their current phone number, address
where the damage occurred, Social Security number, a general list of
damages and losses suffered, directions to the property, insurance
policy number and insurance company or agent’s name.
[Illinois Government News Network
Senate votes to
strengthen Gift Ban Act
SPRINGFIELD — Illinois lawmakers once again have a
comprehensive ethics reform law and are looking to make it even
stronger, according to Sen. Larry Bomke, R-Springfield. On Friday
the Illinois Senate approved two changes to the recently reinstated
The 1998 law (PA
90-737) was recently upheld by the Supreme Court, once again placing
lawmakers under restrictions banning personal use of campaign funds,
gifts and fund-raising during session. The law also tightened
"Questions have come
up in recent years that need be addressed under the Gift Ban Act,"
said Bomke. "Now that we have an ethics law back on the books, it’s
time to make sure than no one else misunderstands the way things
work. Government employees should not collect campaign contributions
from the people they do government business with."
House Bill 4680
addresses recent controversy not covered by the current gift ban.
Under this legislation, state and local government employees could
not solicit or receive campaign contributions from anyone over which
they have regulated business authority. This would also apply to
salaried employees of state constitutional officers as well as
employees of county, township or municipality officers.
[to top of second column in this
In addition to losing
their jobs, employees found guilty of solicitation will face
criminal penalties. To protect whistle-blowers, House Bill 4680 also
prevents employees from being discharged, demoted, suspended,
threatened, harassed or discriminated because they choose to obey
the law and not solicit contributions.
In addition, the
measure further clarifies the Gift Ban Act’s prohibition on gifts,
banning those with a value of more than $100 per calendar year.
House Bill 4680 now returns to the House
of Representatives for further approval. If signed into law, it will
take effect immediately.
Great Lakes July 4
Security requirements forced difficult
GREAT LAKES — Due to prohibitive costs and insurmountable
logistical challenges brought on by increased security requirements
at Great Lakes Naval Training Center, the installation’s traditional
July 4 festival will not be held this year.
consideration of several options, officials at Great Lakes
determined that canceling the event was the most fair-minded and
most appropriate course of action.
Having the event on
base would have required all guests without valid Department of
Defense vehicle decals to park at an off-base location and be bused
onto the installation. Not only would this require a significant
outlay of funds, it would also lead to lengthy delays — as much as
four to five hours by some estimates — to get guests on and off the
considered was to have the event on base as in past years, but admit
only authorized active-duty military personnel, military retirees
and civilian employees of Great Lakes.
"We did not like the
perception associated with this alternative," said Capt. Jerry Hart,
the commanding officer at Great Lakes Naval Training Center. "We
value our relationship with our neighbors outside the gates, and we
do not want to send the message that they are not welcome.
"For the past 17
years we have celebrated July 4th with members of our local
communities here at Great Lakes. We will join together in
celebration again this year, but it will be done at the many local
community festivals offered outside the gates. And to the greatest
extent possible, we will spread our military performing units around
this year to ensure that communities who wish to have a Navy
presence at their event can do so."
[to top of second column in this
A third option
considered was a possible partnership with a local community’s July
4 festival, but officials at Great Lakes found that unattractive for
two reasons. First, such a partnership could create the impression
of preferential treatment to one community. Second, Great Lakes
would like to once again host a July 4 event on base if and when
security requirements are relaxed enough to allow it. Establishing a
partnership this year could make it difficult to move the event back
to Great Lakes in the future.
"This decision was very difficult for us,
but we have made the right one," Hart explained. "Our going-in
position was that we would not sacrifice the wonderful relationship
we have with our neighbors in our surrounding communities, nor would
we elevate our bond with one community above that of another. We’ve
met those two criteria. Great Lakes will still share its patriotic
spirit with our community neighbors this year. Only the venue will
Logan-Mason Rehabilitation Center helps the disabled meet their
31, 2002] They
live in our community and are often part of our work force, earning
salaries and shopping in our local stores. Although most of the time
we don’t notice them, the developmentally disabled live beside us
and, like the rest of us, strive to do meaningful work, make
friends, continue their education and live fulfilling lives.
An agency that helps
them meet these goals is the Logan-Mason Rehabilitation Center on
South Postville Drive. Its mission statement says: "It is our goal
to help people erase the limitations forced upon them by their
disabilities. It is our job to create an opportunity for each
individual who is ready to take a step toward independence."
As its name states,
the center serves clients in Logan and Mason counties — about 300
every weekday. They may live at the Lincoln Developmental Center, in
community homes in the two-county area, with their families or on
The outer office at
the Postville site doesn’t begin to suggest the hive of activity in
the workrooms and classrooms behind it. But about 30 of the most
independent of the center’s clients aren’t in these friendly, busy
rooms; they are out in the community going to work every day,
earning salaries and paying taxes like the rest of us.
"They are in jobs all
over town — at the Lincoln College cafeteria, at Lincoln Christian
College’s cafeteria, at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital’s kitchen,
at Burwell’s Travel Plaza, at Kroger’s, and in various restaurants
and nursing homes — wherever their help is needed," says Peggy Ross
Jones, who oversees the employment program.
"Our clients are
doing real work," she adds emphatically. "We are not making up jobs.
They keep their employers happy, and they are happy, too."
They get paid at
least minimum wage for their work, and the money they earn is theirs
to spend as they please.
[Photos by Joan Crabb]
works at the hole cover machine in the regular work program. She’s
putting together a part for Inland Tool of Mount Pulaski.]
Most of them need
some support in their working life, and the center provides this in
several ways. For the most independent, there is a monitoring
program to see that they continue to do well.
For others there are
job coaches who go to the workplace and help the employer train
them. These coaches can break down complex instructions into
separate steps, help workers keep up with the pace of the job, and
find innovative ways to help them follow instructions, such as
color-coding parts of tasks for nonreaders.
"Before we had job
coaches, we would send people out and hope they would do all right.
Sometimes they didn’t. Now we are able to keep people in the same
job for years," Peggy says.
For example, about 20
clients have been working with the Lincoln College food service for
the last 12 years. These workers always have one or two job coaches
on hand to help solve any problems that come up.
"A lot of our people
seem able to handle repetitive jobs with specific routines that you
or I would get tired of," Peggy says. "They are very valuable to
employers who need routine jobs done over and over. They are a real
service to the community."
Peggy not only
coordinates the employment program, she makes sure all 82 of the
center’s staff members stay up to date on their training. All get
regular CPR training, and all must meet a state mandate for direct
support training, including health, safety, human rights, and abuse
and neglect prevention. Staff members who work directly with clients
must have 40 hours of classroom training and 80 hours of on-the-job
training to meet Department of Human Services requirements.
Peggy calls herself a
"behind the desk" person. Another staff member, Vivian Thompson,
also spends time behind a desk, coordinating programs to help
clients live as independently as possible. She is, among other
things, supervisor of community support services, case manager
coordinator and coordinator of staffings in the day program. She
works with clients who live independently, some who live in CILAs
and those who live with their families.
People with mild
disabilities can often live on their own if they have the right kind
of support. This might be a homemaker program, help with money
management and budgeting, and transportation to and from grocery
stores and doctor’s appointments. Vivian sees that they get the
services they need to stay independent.
Families who keep
their disabled members at home may need help getting away for
shopping or a recreational break, and Vivian helps coordinate
respite care for them.
[to top of second column in this
Each client who comes
to the day program has a caseworker. The caseworker is part of the
team that makes an Individual Program Plan for each client, which
addresses his or her need for vocational training, education, work
and medical needs. Vivian coordinates these teams, too.
Director Gene Frioli
has been in charge of the facility for 16 years. He is assisted by
Carol McAfee, supervisor of administrative services, who has been
with the center for 23 years. Its parent company is Mental Health
Centers of Central Illinois, based in Springfield, a not-for-profit
community mental health agency.
Jean and Jan have worked at the rehab center for 16 years. Both are
both going to state in the standing broad jump for Special
Olympics. Here they use a rip saw to cut up lumber for cleats for
Myers Industries. Safety features allow workers to use these saws
Behind the office at
the rehab center, the visitor steps into a room that looks like a
machine shop. There is sawdust on the floor. Motors hum and whine
and screech as 40 workers concentrate on their various tasks. The
presence of a supervisor or even an unexpected visitor does not
This is the site of
the regular work program, a sheltered workshop where clients make
products for three area industries. It is staffed by supervisor
Marcia Warner, definitely a hands-on rather than a behind-the-desk
staff person. Working with her are instructor and safety officer
Steve Coogan and Dennis Bernahl. "Bernie" designs the fixtures and
"jigs" the disabled work on so they are safe and easy to use. Jigs
are ingenious devices to help the clients perform specific tasks.
On this particular
day, some of the workers are making wood products, screw cleats and
glue blocks for Myers Industries of Lincoln. A pair of twins are
cutting raw lumber into eight different sizes with a table saw.
Others are trimming cleats to the right size, and still others are
punching holes in each cleat at precise intervals.
"We’ve had this
contract with Myers for more than 30 years," Marcia says. Other
workers are putting together amp straps for Cutler-Hammer, another
Lincoln firm. A plastic sleeve is slipped over a metal piece, and
the whole thing is bent into the correct shape. Still others are
"baking" the amp straps in a special oven.
Warner, supervisor of the regular work program, demonstrates the
drill punch, which has shields and slides so clients can work safely
An ongoing project is
assembling kits for Cutler-Hammer; today workers are putting the
correct number and type of screws and labels into packages.
Altogether these workers assemble 40 kinds of kits for the Lincoln
truck picks up and drops off work every day," Marcia says.
Inland Tool of Mount
Pulaski is another of the center’s contractors. For this firm, a
worker is putting foam strips around a hole in a metal plate. These
pieces, access plates for gas tanks, will be sent to Mitsubishi
Motors in Bloomington.
"We ship out
approximately 7,000 to 10,000 parts each day," Marcia says. "All
these firms are wonderful to work with, and their drivers enjoy
coming over here to drop off and pick up the work."
Clients here work
five hours a day, for which they are paid. They get two breaks and
lunch. Not a single worker says he or she doesn’t like the job; all
are quick to tell a visitor that they love it. Some proudly hold up
finished products to show what they are doing without slowing the
pace of their work routine.
Marcia likes her job, too. "I’ve got the
fun job, because it’s so varied. I get to work with our clients, and
I contact manufacturers and do bidding and procurement. And my
clients and my co-workers are my friends."
(To be continued)
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