Thursday, April 7, 2011

Illinois Senate President like performance based funding

CARBONDALE, IL (WSIU) - Illinois Senate President John Cullerton says he believes performance based funding is a good idea.

Cullerton's comments came during a stop Tuesday at Southern Illinois University Carbondale where he toured an autism center that receives about 4-million dollars a year in state funding.

Cullerton says he was impressed with how the autism program utilizes its state funding.

The Senate President says the legislature will need to provide the state's public universities with some leeway under a performance based funding model. Cullerton says the last thing he wants is for public universities in Illinois to have to raise tuition to make up for potential funding losses as a result of a performance based model.

He says Workers Compensation Reform is the most important thing the General Assembly can do this year.

Cullerton says it's also the best thing the state can do to improve Illinois' business climate. He admits changing workers comp will be extremely difficult, but it needs to be done, especially the fee schedule that is second highest in the country.

Cullerton says any meaningful change will require bipartisan support. He says it is difficult for Democrats to vote against doctors, hospitals, unions and lawyers... but it must be done and the Republicans will need to meet them half way.

Governor Quinn is proposing cutting payments to medical providers who treat people injured on the job. The governor estimates that alone could save the state 500-million dollars.

The proposals come amid a federal investigation into possible Workers Compensation abuses at the Menard Correctional Center and into the actions of arbitrators.

Cullerton says he hopes the General Assembly will be able to provide the governor with a line-item budget this year.

The past two years lawmakers have succumb to partisan bickering and have not been able to agree on a budget plan... instead giving the governor a lump sum and letting him determine how to prioritize spending.

Cullerton says, right now, both Republicans and Democrats are actively involved in the budget process.

Cullerton says Senate Democrats believe the governor needs to cut about one-billion dollars out of his FY'12 budget proposal. At least one Republican plan is calling for about five times that amount.

Jeff Williams, WSIU


Post a Comment