Thursday, August 23, 2007

Whew! Governor Doesn't Cut Tourism

After weeks of delay the state of Illinois apparently has a budget according to The Capitol Fax Blog.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich submitted his veto message to the General Assembly earlier today. It included major revisions, but none on page 252 in the line item that directly impacts certified tourism bureaus across the state.

Therefore, it looks like the 10 percent increase for local convention and tourism bureaus is protected and should result in at least a 10 percent increase in our state funding for the Williamson County Tourism Bureau.

The funding in this program has stayed the same since the 2004 budget. The new money was only added by the General Assembly in this last budget bill passed.

UPDATE 5:34 p.m. August 22
However the veto pen did take a bite out of the Illinois Wine and Grape Council, slashing their line item from $165,000 down to $150,000. Considering the impact the wine industry is having on tourism in the state that won't help.

UPDATE 8:55 p.m. August 22
Looks like state funding for the Illinois Main Street program was wiped out totally - all $204,000 that flowed through the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

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