As the State of Illinois moves closer to a second year without a state budget (fiscal year starting July 1st) it is time to think about what the impact this will have on Ogle County.
For all counties throughout the state, the lack of a state budget has limited the financial support available to provide services to the community.
The Ogle County Health Department already is owed nearly $40,000 from state for services that it provided during this fiscal year. If the state allows federal pass through grants for the next fiscal year, the health department will receive 1/3 of the grant money that it receives each year. The remaining 2/3 will be deteremined through the State of Illinois budget appropriation process. With no state budget, nothing is guaranteed and hard decisions will have to be made.
The lack of a state budget will have an immediate impact on the Ogle County Highway Department. At the end of the day on June 30th, IDOT will shut down two projects in Ogle County that are utilizing federal funds. This includes the Macklin Rd bridge in Marion Township that is currently under construction. It also includes the resurfacing of Montague Rd that was scheduled to begin in the middle of July. The contractor for both of these projects, Martin & Company, an Ogle County based company, will also feel the affects of the state not having a budget
The Illinois Department of Transportation will also cease the distribution of Motor Fuel Tax (MFT) funds if no budget is agreed upon in Springfield. As it stands, the last MFT funds will be received in the middle of July. The MFT funds are used to pay for several obligations including payroll, seal coat contract, striping contract, and salt.
The Ogle County 911 ETSB will be impacted as well, especially since the state is already four months behind in paying out ETSB funds. For the current fiscal year, ending at the end of June, Ogle County is predicted to receive over $33,000 less in revenue than what was anticipated. To make matters worse, also at the end of June, the 911 surcharge appropriation will no longer be in affect. This means that even when a budget is passed in Springfield, it is unknown if the 911 ETSB will receive any back pay for the services it provides. This comes at a crucial time for the 911 service statewide, as many are in the process of upgrading to the “Next-Gen 911” system.
The best thing for Ogle County and for all of Illinois is for a compromised budget to be passed in Illinois with real reforms. The State of Illinois is 8.2 Billon Dollars in debt, without reforms it will only get worse.