WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Macomb and Monmouth Ask for Full State Funding

Mar 18, 2015

The Macomb City Council is sending a letter to the Governor and Legislature asking to receive full funding from the state.

Governor Bruce Rauner has proposed cutting in half local government’s share of the state’s income tax revenue.

Macomb Mayor Mike Inman said that would be a loss of more than one million dollars a year. The city’s budget is usually around $30 million.

Inman said the city is not opposed to helping the state get back on track, but it doesn’t want to shoulder the entire burden. He said a cut of this size could lead to large reductions in city operations. But he hoped the proposal will not pass.

“We don’t have any doomsday scenario fired up on this,” Inman said. “Not interested in what-iffing the budget scenario to death because at the end of the day we don’t know what that number is going to be.”

All members of the city council present for this week's meeting agreed to send the letter.  Second Ward Alderman Steve Wailand was absent.

Fourth Ward Alderman Dave Dorsett said the vote did make him feel a bit hypocritical.

“I realize that we have to do this.  But I think we need to realize also that everybody wants to protect their piece of what’s out there and given the state we have gotten ourselves into with state government, it is unrealistic to believe we won’t see something coming forward,” Dorsett said.

Macomb plans to pass a balanced budget by the end of April. It will then readdress the spending plan once the state budget is finalized.

The letter initiative is backed by the Illinois Municipal League. Monmouth also participated. Mayor Lowell Crow estimated Rauner’s proposed cuts would cost the city more than $660,000 a year. 

He said Monmouth will also write its budget assuming a cut in state funding is not coming.

“If you wait and see you will be paralyzed by indecision.  As we said during my military days, you need a plan to deviate from and a bad decision is better than no decision,” Crow said.

Crow said once the state budget is finalized, Monmouth will return to the drawing board to deal with any cuts in state support.