The old, the young and the disabled, as well as men and women in uniform, would be among those to suffer under Gov. Pat Quinn’s proposed state agency budgets for fiscal 2011.

The old, the young and the disabled, as well as men and women in uniform, would be among those to suffer under Gov. Pat Quinn’s proposed state agency budgets for fiscal 2011.


The Illinois State Police is projecting that 30 percent of its troopers would lose their jobs and five regional offices, including the one in Litchfield, would close; retired state workers would pay more for health care; state-funded child care, drug treatment and mental health services would take a hit; and public health programs would be eliminated.


Not to mention the decrease in state funding to schools that Quinn says will occur if his proposal to raise the state income tax rate from 3 percent to 4 percent isn’t approved.


Springfield-based Sparc, which serves more than 500 people with developmental disabilities, would receive about $300,000 less from the state as a result of the governor’s budget plan, Sparc executive director Carlissa Puckett said.


That cut would follow several years of state funding that have failed to keep up with inflation, resulting in several years without a pay increase for Sparc’s 190 employees.


“It’s like a tire that they have been gradually letting the air out of, and we’re just about flat,” Puckett said.


She said she isn’t sure how Sparc will deal with the funding cut. About $7.5 million of the agency’s $9 million annual budget, or 83 percent, comes from the state.


Drastic cuts in state funding for Sparc and other providers of human services were averted last year when Quinn and lawmakers freed up $2.2 billion in state funds by borrowing $3.4 billion to fulfill the state’s contribution to employee pension plans.


But the lingering recession’s effect on state receipts has led to the longest backlog in state funding Sparc has ever experienced. The state now owes Sparc $2.58 million for services dating back to fall 2009.


“We have inadequate payments and significantly late payments,” Puckett said.


Here’s an agency-by-agency breakdown of some of the most significant cuts proposed by the governor, who has asked the General Assembly for the 33 percent state income tax increase to avoid $1.3 billion in cuts to education and help pay off delinquent bills.


Human Services


The governor’s proposed budget would cut programs by at least $226 million — including $125 million in general revenue funds — in fiscal 2011 through reductions in child care, drug treatment and mental health services.


As many as 178,500 people would be removed from programs across the state as a result, Illinois Department of Human Services spokesman Tom Green said.


“We need additional revenue to avoid the proposed cuts,” he said.


Quinn’s plan would cut $52 million from community mental health services.


Programs that serve people with developmental disabilities would be reduced by $95 million, mainly though a 2.5 percent across-the-board reduction in local grants.


Another $52 million would be cut from “human capital development” services such as subsidized child care for low-income families, Green said.


More than 100,000 children statewide receive state-subsidized child care. About 5,900 child-care slots would be eliminated, he said.


Other cuts would include $7 million trimmed from grants to alcohol- and drug-treatment programs and $20 million less for community health and prevention, Green said.


The agency’s overall budget — supported by state and federal funds — would increase about 2 percent, from $6.22 billion in the current fiscal year to $6.43 billion in fiscal 2011, Green said.


That increase mainly reflects higher costs for labor and entitlement programs, he said.


State Board of Education


The State Board of Education is hoping to increase its budget for the upcoming fiscal year, but Quinn’s spending plan looks to reduce it.


Quinn’s proposed budget sets the board’s overall spending, which includes state and federal funds, at $9.86 billion for fiscal 2011. The board requested $11.26 billion, and this year got just under $11 billion.


The board asked for $7.36 billion in general revenue funds for the next fiscal year, just over the $7.30 billion allocated for this fiscal year. But Quinn’s budget cuts that figure to $6.08 billion.


Illinois’ current foundation level of state funding for each student is $6,119, but Quinn’s budget would reduce that to $5,669 per student.


Board spokesman Matt Vanover said the agency’s proposed budget does not include any staff reductions. But, he said, auditors are concerned that there may not enough staff to monitor how school districts are spending federal stimulus money.


“Right now, we’re doing the best we can,” Vanover said. “If we see a reduction in headcount, it would likely lead to a loss of federal funding.”


Vanover said the agency has reduced its staff by 40 percent in the last decade, from 775 in 2000 to about 500 today. Meanwhile, the board has seen a more than 30 percent increase in the federal funds it must administer, he said.


Special education is expected to lose more than $2 million in funding, according to Quinn's budget, with $9.19 million allocated for fiscal 2010 and $7.18 million for fiscal 2011.


The cuts range from services for blind and dyslexic students to the children’s mental health partnership.


In classroom curriculum and instruction, bilingual education is expected to lose nearly 30 percent of its funding. Quinn’s budget has $47.7 million projected for next fiscal year, compared to nearly $68.1 million allocated this fiscal year.


Healthcare and Family Services


Benefits in the Illinois Cares Rx program would be reduced through “increased cost-sharing,” and retired state workers would pay higher out-of-pocket costs for health care as part of $325 million in cuts proposed for the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.


Illinois Cares Rx serves 200,000 seniors statewide and would sustain a 50 percent cut through the proposed $70 million reduction. The program helps low-income seniors pay Medicare Part D premiums, reduces Part D co-pays for medicine and helps fill the Part D gap known as the “doughnut hole.”


Department spokeswoman Stacey Solano said Quinn’s proposal wouldn’t change eligibility for the program. Instead, some co-pay subsidies would be eliminated, and the program’s current subsidy for prescription-drug costs in the “doughnut hole” would be reduced.


The changes for state retirees’ health-care coverage would save $255 million and limit the state subsidy per retiree to $300 a month, according to department spokesman Mike Claffey.


Officials from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees have vowed to fight the plan. They said the state’s proposed increases in out-of-pocket expenses would make state insurance unaffordable for many retirees and their dependents.


Under the changes, almost one-third of Illinois’ 79,800 retired state workers would have to start paying premiums of between $290 and $500 a month to keep their coverage. Those increases would affect retirees younger than 65 and not already covered by Medicare.


For retirees older than 65 — 60 percent of the total — Quinn’s plan would put in place $4-per-month premiums for managed-care coverage and $50-per-month premiums for preferred-provider coverage.


The retirees’ cost for insuring many of their 31,000 dependents would rise between $75 and $430 per month, according to Claffey. The State Journal-Register has requested a breakdown of how those increases for dependents would be computed but hasn’t received an answer.


Healthcare and Family Services would add 23 employees in fiscal 2011, but none of these new employees would be funded with general state tax dollars, Claffey said.


Fifteen employees would be added to supplement child support enforcement, two would be added for a federally required “Medicaid Statistical Information System,” and six would be added to work on health-information technology, he said.


The agency’s overall budget — funded with state and federal funds — would rise from $18.47 billion in the current fiscal year to $18.86 billion in fiscal 2011, mainly through spending on medical assistance programs for low- and moderate-income Illinoisans.


Aging


The state’s Community Care program would be cut by $140 million — eliminating slots for 825 senior citizens — as part of $42 million in general revenue fund reductions at the Illinois Department on Aging.


The governor’s proposed 21.7 percent cut in Community Care, which helps seniors remain in their homes rather than going to nursing homes, also could include a “moderate” reduction of two hours a week in homemaker services for seniors in the program, department spokeswoman Kimberly Parker said.


The seniors who no longer qualify for Community Care — 64,000 seniors are in the program — may continue to receive services through other programs in the department, Parker said.


“These changes will enable the department to better control future spending pressures for the program and continue providing in-home and community-based services to low-income seniors,” Parker said. “These proposed changes are not easy, nor were they suggested without difficult deliberations.”


Aging’s general revenue fund spending would drop 6.4 percent, to $613.8 million in fiscal 2011.


The department’s Circuit Breaker program would remain unchanged, and is proposed for about $30.7 million in fiscal 2011. Circuit Breaker grants to eligible seniors and disabled people for property tax relief were reduced by 50 percent in the current fiscal year compared with fiscal 2009. That move saved $20 million.


Public Health


Several grant programs, including those dealing with prostate cancer awareness and community health centers, would be eliminated in fiscal 2011 as part of $12.5 million in proposed cuts at the Illinois Department of Public Health.


Grants that wouldn’t be cut include those funding local health protection in county health departments, the Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program and the AIDS Drug Assistance Program, according to Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold.


“The department also preserved funding for the three IDPH laboratories, which were essential during the H1N1 influenza outbreak and necessary for day-to-day food-borne illness and infectious-disease tracking, as well as funding to support our Office of Health Care Regulation,” she said.


But the governor’s proposed budget would reduce women’s health-promotion grants and eliminate grants for community health centers, medical student scholarships, family practice residencies and rural health organizations.


State Police


Under the spending plan presented by Quinn earlier this month, Illinois State Police spokesman Scott Compton said the agency’s operating budget for fiscal 2011 is estimated at just over $359 million. That’s $58.1 million less than the $417.1 million set aside for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30.


Compton said most of the cuts are expected to come from a 30 percent reduction in the 2,025 sworn police officers working statewide.


He said at least 464 state troopers face layoffs, and another 30 would be moved to the Illinois Gaming Board to enforce legalization of video poker machines.


At least 100 officers are expected to retire by June 30, which Compton calls a “conservative estimate.”


Compton said a smaller state police presence could have “significant consequences for public safety.”


“People should expect an increase in traffic fatalities, terrorist threats and drug trafficking,” he said. “There will be less officers out to look for those things.”


State police will be working with just over 1,400 police officers statewide, which Compton said is “a sworn workforce not seen in our lifetimes.”


In 1990, the agency had 1,900 sworn police officers statewide, he said.


Other state police services that face possible cuts include the statewide terrorism intelligence center, critical incidents response command and air operations.


As a result of the personnel cuts, the state police anticipate that counties statewide would receive $12 million less in revenue from traffic tickets and other citations.


Agriculture


The state Department of Agriculture is looking to trim its budget from $104.4 million this fiscal year to $97.6 million in fiscal 2011.


Despite the cuts, spokesman Jeff Squibb said the department plans to increase its employee headcount from 438 to 444. The agency does not plan to cut any of its services, he said.


Squibb said most of the proposed reductions were in the amounts of grant money to several statewide programs.


University of Illinois Extension is expected to receive $15.5 million in fiscal 2011, compared to less than the $19.4 million allocated this year.


Soil and Water Conservation Districts are expected to get $1.1 million in grant money, down $5 million from the $6.1 million allocated this year.


And the county fairs program is expected to get $3 million less in the upcoming fiscal year, from $12.1 million this fiscal year to $9.1 million next year.


Squibb said the planned cuts “are not a reflection of the merits” of the programs.


“It was a very difficult budget, and there were no good answers,” he said. “But the fact of the matter is that spending is at the levels that revenue can’t sustain.”


The department is hoping the legislature will approve House Bill 4866, which would increase agriculture-related registration fees and penalties.


The bill passed in the House by a 63-46 vote March 4 and is pending in the Senate.


Squibb said it would raise an estimated $2 million for Agriculture.


Corrections


The Department of Corrections is in the minority among state agencies, in that it looks to have a bigger budget projected for the fiscal year that begins July 1.


Under Quinn’s proposed spending plan, DOC would have $1.3 billion allocated for fiscal 2011, compared with $1.279 billion for the current fiscal year.


Department spokeswoman Sharyn Elman said Corrections is asking for $1.186 billion in general revenue funds, or roughly $39.3 million more than the $1.147 billion allocated for this year.


She said the increase is mostly tied to “funding the collective bargaining increases outlined in existing labor agreements.”


Elman said the agency’s budget request “does not assume any layoffs or facility closures.”


Transportation


The Illinois Department of Transportation’s anticipated budget for next fiscal year also is slightly higher than its current budget.


IDOT spokeswoman Paris Ervin said the agency’s projected spending should increase by $169,900 from this fiscal year. Both budgets are set at just over $2.5 billion.


She said the extra money would pay for 183 new hires to implement a $31 billion capital construction plan approved by Quinn and the legislature last year. Currently, Ervin said, the department has “the smallest staff in its history.”


IDOT’s revenue mainly comes from gasoline taxes, vehicle and operator license fees and federal reimbursements for highway improvement projects.


While the department does not plan to reduce any services, Ervin said employees will take furlough days, and existing leases will be reviewed to cut costs.


“I don’t think the public will be impacted,” she said of the proposed budget. “If anything, the public will notice an increase in construction projects around the state.”


Ervin said IDOT has saved $1.1 million from furlough days so far and has saved $1.5 million from reviewing leases.


She said the proposed operating budget for next year includes a 5 percent spending cut on travel.


State layoffs limited


Proposed budget cuts at most state agencies don’t call for many layoffs of state workers. The state and its largest employee union in January agreed to a plan that avoided as many as 2,600 layoffs in exchange for reduced pay increases and a voluntary furlough program that will begin April 1 and continue through June 30, 2011.


The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees agreed to a deferral of half the pay raises due on July 1, 2010, and Jan. 1, 2011. Employees will receive 1 percent raises, instead of 2 percent, on each of those dates. The remainder of the raises have been delayed until June 1, 2011.


And all AFSCME members will be encouraged, but not required, to take voluntary unpaid days off as part of a plan that would give them one paid day off adjacent to a state holiday for every two unpaid furlough days.


The voluntary furlough program, deferred pay raises and an AFSCME proposal for ways of saving money on state employee health-care costs are expected to save state government an estimated $200 million for the period covering the remainder of fiscal 2010 and fiscal 2011.