Thursday, October 23, 2008

Support Still Needed for State Park Funding

I received the following e-mail alert yesterday from our friends at ICCVB. It deals with the funding legislation passed recently for state parks and historic sites (as well as other programs).

After their passage, the Senate forwarded two bills (one to sweep dedicated funds and the other to provide funding to keep open state historic sites and state parks) to the Governor on October 7, 2008. Governor Blagojevich has 60 calendar days to take action on this legislation, would be December 6th, six days after the stated closures of the state parks and historic sites (Novemeber 30).

We have been informed that the Governor has stated he will not sign SB 1103 until he is sure the state can withstand the current economic downturn. The Pantagraph ( Bloomington - Normal area) published a story confirming this information, which you can read by clicking on the following link:

We will continue to fight for restoration of these vital funds and will keep you informed of any updates.

Please take time to call or e-mail the Governor’s office asking him to take quick action to sign this legislation You can send an email to Governor Blagojevich at, or call (312) 814-2121. You can also show your support on this issue by signing an electronic petition at

According to an Associated Press article earlier this week a spokesman for the governor said the reluctance to sign the measure was due to weakening economic conditions which might force additional cuts.

“We are reviewing our revenue forecast to ensure that we will not have to make further cuts,” Guerrero said. “It would be a shame to propose restorations and then have to rescind them if the economic climate worsens.”

Rich Miller of Capitol Fax noted that quote on his blog Monday.

I can’t believe the AP let that one go unchallenged.

So what if the governor restores the cuts and revenue tanks? What does one have to do with the other?

The General Assembly made some very specific cut restorations by using targeted skims from existing money in special state funds.

Even if the overall budget completely tanks, there will be zero impact on the legislative package approved by the General Assembly, because it didn’t rely on any General Revenue Fund money. If GRF goes down, those special funds aren’t reduced.

The problem goes beyond this one bill and the parks and historic sites currently threatened. Both systems are broke. We need a better system.