Governor requires state agencies to submit contingency plans       Send a link to a friend

Bomke hopeful government shutdown will be unnecessary

[MAY 28, 2004]  SPRINGFIELD -- Recent confirmation that Gov. Rod Blagojevich has demanded state agencies submit contingency plans in the event of a government shutdown concerns state Sen. Larry Bomke, R-Springfield.

"As we near the conclusion of the legislative session without any clear compromise on the budget, I understand the necessity of taking such precautions," said Bomke. "Still, I would hope such a plan would never need to be utilized in Illinois."

As of May 25, all state agencies were given three days to update their existing contingency plans and submit them to Gov. Blagojevich. The governor's administration affirmed that the contingency plan would be put into effect only in the event the legislature fails to approve a new budget by July 1 or if AFSCME union members strike during the summer.

Forming contingency plans would theoretically allow the government to shut down certain state agencies under the assumption that without a working budget there is no designated revenue to keep these programs running. Sen. Bomke, while agreeing a current contingency plan should be available, is adamant that such measures should be employed only in extreme cases.

 

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"Illinois state workers depend on their paychecks, and if they aren't working, they aren't getting paid," Bomke asserted. "If the governor was to close state agencies, many state workers would be hit where it hurts -- the pocketbook."

Sen. Bomke also stresses that if certain state agencies were temporarily closed, this would greatly impact the efficiency, and accuracy, of government services in Illinois.

The legislature, scheduled to adjourn May 21, is currently negotiating and drafting the fiscal 2005 budget. Lawmakers hope to come to a compromise before the May 31 deadline, after which a three-fifths supermajority will be needed to pass any final budget bill.

[Illinois Senate Republican Caucus
news release]

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