Budget resolution negotiated
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Senator opposes cuts in civil
service, Department of Corrections jobs
From state Sen. Larry Bomke
SPRINGFIELD -- State
Sen. Larry Bomke, R-Springfield, reports that two months after
the 93rd legislative session was scheduled to adjourn, the governor
and General Assembly leaders have reached a budget compromise for
"Senate Republicans managed to attain
many initiatives they have been consistently advocating," Bomke
said. "The caucus fought hard for repeals on the tax and fee hikes
the governor implemented in 2003, and many of those taxes are going
to be eliminated. I am also pleased that a fair and equitable
education budget was agreed upon. I have no doubt that the
Republican presence at the negotiation table prevented millions of
dollars in budgetary increases that, realistically, the state cannot
afford at this time."
Bomke is also pleased with the outcome
of budget negotiations resulting in an agreement that allows state
employees who are enrolled in specific health plans to avoid
semi-mandatory mail-order prescriptions.
"According to our agreement, retail
pharmacies will be allowed to provide the same services as the
state's new contractor," Bomke explained. "Pharmaceutical retailers
were afraid that the mail-order option would negatively impact their
sales. This legislation will repeal the policy which requires a
state worker to use the mail order option or pay up to double the
usual amount offered at a retail pharmacy."
Bomke was also glad to see a repeal of
most of last year's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System
fee increases the governor imposed on water and sewer lines.
"Many small, downstate communities were
buckling under the economic strain of the NPDES fees," Bomke said.
"By eliminating the fees, we reduce a huge financial burden on
Although Bomke praised some areas of
the budget, the senator vocalized his opposition to a proposal
reducing funding for the Department of Corrections and the
Department of Human Services.
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"I am distressed to hear rumors that
budget cuts might result in a speculated 1,600 layoffs, particularly
in state departments where workers are already overburdened and
overworked," he said. "In my opinion it is irresponsible to fund
this budget by forcing more Illinois citizens out of work,
particularly in agencies that are already suffering from
underemployment. The governor's office insists no layoffs are
planned, but I am reserving any opinion until I can review the final
A tentative budget agreement indicates
that a reduction of 4 percent, or $47 million, from the General
Revenue Fund is planned for the Department of Corrections introduced
operations level. A projected reduction of 3.5 percent of all
General Revenue Fund appropriations, which cover administration
costs and funding for almost all grants, has been proposed for the
Department of Human Services.
Republican Caucus can identify many victories in this budget
language, plans to further eliminate jobs, especially in those
departments, is a real travesty. I'm not sure I can support a budget
that would result in significant job loss statewide."
Sen. Larry Bomke, 50th District]