Today I addressed the Illinois Senate Appropriations Committee, attempting to make the case that our state appropriation for next year should remain the same as last year, approximately $107 million.
Ordinarily this would be a modest request. However, these times are anything but ordinary. The state is embroiled in its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression and is having difficulty paying bills today, let alone budgeting for tomorrow.
Due to those circumstances, our request is far removed from the amount in Gov. Quinn’s proposed FY2011 budget. That plan would cut our appropriation by 6.2 percent, which translates to a loss of about $6.7 million.
As part of my testimony today, I was asked to respond to what such a cut would mean to our campus. The picture I shared was sobering, and I felt obliged to share it with you as well. Please note, however, that this is just one scenario that could emerge.
In a surprise move, both the Illinois House and Senate approved a pension reform plan Wednesday, sending the bill to Gov. Quinn for signature.
Most of the changes affect only new employees.
A brief analysis of what the plan would mean can be found on the Budget News & Updates page. A more complete look at the plan and its potential impact on NIU employees will be published in Monday’s Northern Today.