(CHICAGO) Governor Bruce Rauner yesterday framed his legislative agenda for the upcoming session of the Illinois General Assembly around several key imperatives, although the main one is a true balanced, full-year Fiscal Year 2019 budget. To start the process, the Governor asked State House and Senate leaders to meet with him to agree on budget basics like certifying FY19 revenues and spending within the state’s means. The Governor said the General Assembly could cut the income tax by as much as a billion dollars if it has the courage to enact comprehensive pension reform which won bipartisan support in the Senate last year but stalled in the House. Look for plenty of debate during the upcoming spring legislative session.
(CHARLESTON) Eastern Illinois University officials have announced major structural changes that will take place over the next two years. The Journal Gazette & Times-Courier reports EIU is realigning all of its programs and colleges based on work by the university’s President’s Council and vitalization project work groups. Changes include creating a new College of Health & Human Services , plus combining the College of Arts & Humanities with the College of Sciences to create the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. EIU officials say the changes are needed to create a framework for the university to grow, create new programs, and better support students. The Charleston university has not seen such restructuring in 25 years.
(SPRINGFIELD) Illinois EPA’s Office of Energy is working to help local municipalities reduce the cost of wastewater treatment. They’re teaming up with the Smart Energy Design Assistance Center (SEDAC) and the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) to provide free energy usage assessments to publicly-owned wastewater treatment plants. Various requirements must be met to qualify for an assessment, which ordinarily would cost municipalities between $6,000 and $12,000. For more information or details on the joint effort State Energy Program’s available online at www.energy.gov/eere/wipo/state-energy-program.