A few weeks ago Governor Quinn unveiled his FY 14 proposed budget. The plan has one glaring flaw—the proposal to close Murray Developmental Center—but in most other respects maintains or even improves existing programs and staffing levels.
However, this does not mean smooth sailing for most AFSCME members in state government by a long shot. In recent years, House Speaker Michael Madigan has developed his own revenue estimates, which almost invariably are lower than the Administration’s anticipated revenues. For the upcoming fiscal year, the Administration projects revenue of $35.6 billion for FY 14, while the House revenue projection is $35.1 billion. This means that the House will likely try to cut as much as $500 million from the Governor’s budget as proposed.
With that very significant caution in mind, below is a summary of the FY 14 budget plan put forth by Governor Quinn.
The budget assumes a supplemental appropriation in FY 13 to fund the unpaid wage increases from the last contract, and annualizes those increases in FY 14. It also includes savings in group insurance which will only be realized if the contract is honored.
The required pension payments are $6.0 billion in FY 14, up from $5.1 billion FY 13. While this budget fully funds the pension contributions, the Governor’s office portrays that statutory requirement as absorbing all the revenue growth for FY 14, shortchanging education and other state programs. This rhetoric is intended to goad the General Assembly into passing draconian pension cuts to avoid addressing the real problem – the need for more revenue.
The plan appropriates $700 million for paying back bills. Overall the Quinn plan projects the stack of overdue bills as shrinking – from $8.7 billion in FY 12 to $6.8 billion by the end of FY 14. Quinn has proposed the closure of three tax loopholes to further cut back bills by $445 million, but this will require legislative action and the corporate interests are already fighting back.
Most agencies see few changes in staffing numbers, up or down. Again, this may well change as the Illinois House, which in recent years has thrown out the Governor’s proposal and constructed its own budget, plans on spending much less revenue.
State Centers: Despite all the trauma inflicted by the governor’s closure of Jacksonville Developmental Center last year, the administration appears intent on attempting to close down Murray Developmental Center in FY 14. The SODC budget line shows a decrease of 550 staff positions, which would be the approximate number of position lost if the facility does close.
The original Quinn plan was to close the facility by the end of Nov. 2013, but it’s not clear that the administration intends to stick with that schedule, given the many placement problems that arose during the JDC closure. So even though there is a decrease in the personnel line, the budget is constructed so that the money can be used to continue to fund the facility or fund community placements.
Quinn has previously called for two additional SODC closures, but there is no indication in the budget that another closure is planned in FY 14. The State Mental Health Centers and the Rehab Services Schools show no headcount or service cuts or closures. The TDF at Rushville is being expanded by 96 beds, and 25 staff will be added to the facility in FY 14.
Family & Community Services: AFSCME’s efforts to push the federal government to take a closer look at DHS added substantial headcount in FY 13 (200 to review the Maximus Medicaid re-determination recommendations and 35 to administer a Cook County Medicaid waiver). Those 235 staff are annualized in FY 14, and another 600 positions are added (300 to handle the newly-eligible population under ACA coming on-line Oct. 2013 and 300 headcount to “cover severely understaffed offices”).
Staffing levels for the Home Services Program and Rehab Services remain the same. The union is grieving a decision by DHS to place some home services participants into Medicaid Managed Care programs and move some bargaining unit functions to the managed care providers.
Overall, there is a net increase in staffing in DHS of 100 positions.
The DOC budget as proposed does very little to address the severe understaffing that exists in correctional facilities across the state. There would be only a small increase in overall headcount. Current headcount is about 100 less than the beginning of the fiscal year. There is a cadet class of 120 planned in the current fiscal year, with the goal of hitting 10,749 staff by the end of FY 13. An additional 26 positions will be added in FY 14 – most in counselor and record office positions needed to implement the new early release program. The budget includes a commitment to replacing all staff attrition. The budget documents call for four cadet classes but it could be more if attrition remains high. DOC will need a supplemental appropriation in FY 13 to meet operational funding shortfalls.
The budget requests 89.5 additional staff for DVA all of which are dedicated to the four Veterans Homes: Anna (4.5), Quincy (37), LaSalle (19), and Manteno (29). The increase in staff is necessary to comply with increased staffing requirements in state and federal rules.
Revenue gets 75 positions – tax auditors that the Governor’s office says will produce revenue equal to eight times their cost using new collection technology.
The FY 14 proposed budget for the Department of Juvenile Justice does not provide for the intensive interventions needed by the very involved youth that department now serves. Unlike DOC, where staffing increased slightly after the facility closures, DJJ sees no increase in staff between FY 13 and 14 (1,041 both years), and less staff than FY 12 (1,133). For example, the number of educators continues to decline. The only increase – which will happen in the current fiscal year – is the addition of 27 Aftercare Specialists.
DNR has 186 new staff positions due to new non-GRF funding. There was legislation passed last year that raised fees to increase revenue for state parks and DNR programs. Of the 186 positions, 42 are in the parks, 27 are conservation police, 20 in fisheries and rivers, 17 in mine regulation, 11 in mine reclamation, 14 in natural areas stewardship, 10 in habitat restoration and the rest are spread around in various divisions.
The governor’s proposed FY 14 budget as introduced does not include any reduction in headcount. However, IDES management has indicated that there could be further cutbacks in federal funds in the coming fiscal year that would result in significant additional layoffs beyond those occurring in FY 13.
Financial and Professional Regulation
This agency laid off staff in FY 13 due to short funding, but has since raised fees and recalled staff. The FY 14 budget calls for 28 new positions in its professional, banking and real estate oversight divisions.
There are 90 additional staff proposed for State Police, all in operations. As there is a plan for three cadet classes and all new staff are allocated to operations, apparently the staff will mostly be state troopers.
The agency implementing major Medicaid changes will see an increase of 57 staff, mostly in its Program Administration and Medical divisions.
After a tumultuous year of change at DCFS, with layoffs and reorganizations, the FY 14 budget is flat, with no staffing changes planned.
No changes are planned for public health staff or state-based grants. After adding some 90 positions in health care regulation in FY13 (mostly RNs to implement statutory nursing home reforms), the FY 14 budget is flat. Similarly, public health grants to local health departments are also flat. IDPH indicated some of is pass through grants to public health agencies could be impacted by federal Sequestration should those 5.1% cuts be implemented.
Here is a link to a detailed look at the proposed budget