CHICAGO
08/07/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Quinn Vetoes State Operating Budget As Stalemate Continues, 2,600 Face Layoffs

On the day he planned to explain $1 billion in state budget cuts, Gov. Quinn instead announced Tuesday that he is vetoing a bill funding state government operations.

"I am vetoing this bill in its entirety because it favors preserving the government status quo and fails to make the necessary cuts and reductions in state government operations," Quinn said in a statement announcing the veto. "It does not reflect the spirit of shared sacrifice that must prevail throughout our state government, particularly during these harsh economic times."

The veto punts the budget ball back to lawmakers, the Tribune reports:

Lawmakers are scheduled to return to the Capitol next Tuesday to take up the still-unresolved budget in a special session. The budget is $9 billion short by Quinn's estimate, while lawmakers say it's $7 billion out of whack.

Quinn did say that layoff notices will be sent out to 2,600 employees. Read a complete list of Quinn's planned $1 billion in cuts here.

Quinn's press release explaining his veto:

CHICAGO - July 7, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn today vetoed House Bill 2145 saying the General Assembly's bill fails to make any significant cuts in state operations. Instead, the Governor proposed passing a responsible "Tough Choices" budget, which calls for cutting an additional $1 billion in state costs.

"I am vetoing this bill in its entirety because it favors preserving the government status quo and fails to make the necessary cuts and reductions in state government operations," said Governor Quinn. "It does not reflect the spirit of shared sacrifice that must prevail throughout our state government, particularly during these harsh economic times."

HB 2145 appropriates $3.8 billion to fund state operations. However, HB 2145 fails to adequately cut the cost of state operations, including the budget of the General Assembly and other Constitutional Officers, including the Attorney General, Treasurer, Comptroller and Secretary of State. (Attached is the Governor's veto message)

Governor Quinn said the General Assembly and all statewide officers should cut their budgets by at least 10 percent, a cost-cutting move that includes an option of ordering up to 12 furlough days for all employees.

"I presented my budget to the General Assembly on March 18 with a clear message: When it comes to making cuts, we have to make tough choices, not bad choices. It was true then and it's true today," said Governor Quinn. "My goal has always been to pass a fair and comprehensive state budget that serves the fundamental needs of the people of Illinois."

The Governor's "Tough Choices" budget proposes cutting $1 billion from the state budget including:

* $185 million from state operations, including approximately 2,600 layoffs and 12 furlough days for state employees
* $140 million from Medicaid and health insurance
* $250 million in targeted reductions in grant programs
* $125 million from the Department of Corrections
* $175 million cut from proposed increases for K-12 education
* $25 million from other state offices, departments and agencies not under the Governor
* $100 million in additional reserves


Quinn's veto message to the General Assembly:

To the Honorable Members of the Illinois House of Representatives, 96th General Assembly:

In accordance with Article IV, Section 9 (b) of the Illinois Constitution, I return to the House
of Representatives House Bill 2145, with this statement of my objections, vetoed in its entirety.

As I stated last week in vetoing Senate Bill 1197, balancing our State's budget will require
making tough choices. This legislation I am vetoing today does not make significant cuts in
spending, and, as a result, fails to solve Illinois' budget crisis. It does not require the shared sacrifices necessary to achieving a balanced budget that is decent and humane. This spirit of shared sacrifice is especially needed during a time of economic hardship. I am therefore vetoing House Bill 2145 in its entirety because I believe that it is part of a flawed overall approach to budget-making.

House Bill 2145 violates the requirement of Article IV, Section 8(d) of the Illinois
Constitution that "appropriation bills shall be limited to the subject of appropriations." ILL. CONST., Article IV, Section 8(d). Appropriations bills cannot contain provisions which purport to change the existing substantive law. Benjamin v. Devon Bank, 68 Ill. 2d 142, 148 (1977). Nor may an appropriation bill restrict the use of funds not previously appropriated. People ex. rel. Kirk v. Lindberg, 59 Ill. 2d 38, 41-42 (1974). Thus, appropriations bills may not include substantive provisions. Valstad v. Cipriano, 357 Ill. App. 3d 905, 920 (2005). Accordingly, appropriation bills may only allocate money for specific purposes. Bd. of Trustees of Comm. Coll. Dist. No. 508 v. Burris, 118 Ill. 2d 465, 477-78 (1987).

House Bill 2145 goes beyond setting apart certain amounts of money for specific purposes by attempting to restrict the use of funds not previously appropriated. Specifically, this bill purports to prohibit the expenditure of appropriated funds for "professional and artistic services." Provisions banning the use of funds on professional and artistic services appear throughout the legislation. These provisions clearly attempt to restrict the use of funds not previously appropriated, and, therefore run afoul of Article IV, Section 8(d) as interpreted by the Illinois Supreme Court in Kirk. See Kirk, 59 Ill. 2d at 41-42.

Second, House Bill 2145 purports to modify existing statute by prohibiting the transfer of
funds between line items. This provision flatly contradicts Section 13.2 of the State Finance Act, 30 ILCS 5/13.2, a statute that specifically authorizes such transfers. In Benjamin v. Devon Bank, our Supreme Court held that including language in an appropriation bill that modifies existing statute violates Article IV, Section 8(d). Benjamin, 68 Ill. 2d at 148.

Therefore, in accordance with the oath of office in which I swore to support the Constitution
of Illinois, required by Article XIII, Section 3 of the Constitution; the Governor's supreme executive authority established by Article V, Section 8 of the Constitution; my duty to faithfully execute the laws as set forth in Article V, Section 8 of the Constitution; and my authority to act upon legislation pursuant to Article IV, Section 9, I hereby expressly disapprove all provisions of House Bill 2145 that contain or relate to subjects other than appropriations.

I am hopeful that through collaboration and cooperation, we can reach a mutually agreeable
resolution of our budgetary challenges. My goal remains a fair and comprehensive state budget that serves the fundamental needs of the people of Illinois.
_____________________
Pat Quinn
GOVERNOR