Illinois' budget problem has pushed the Kankakee Community College Board to pursue a tax increase to make up the lack of money flowing from state officials. The KCC Board will conduct a public hearing on the tax levy at its 5 pm meeting December 14th.
The tax hike of $375,000...it's been reported... would generate about $10.7 million to bolster the $25 million operation budget. The KCC property tax hike follows the $1.6 million tax increase approved this week (Monday) by the Kankakee County Board.
KCC president John Avendano told WGFA News last week "this situation is not unique to KCC. Several community college districts are in the same boat.
"We try to take whatever steps we can to provide quality, affordable education," college president John Avendano said. "This is a unique year."
Avandana said "we don't want to be in this situation. We have to find a way to balance this out."
While Gov. Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan continue their budget battle, community colleges across the state are feeling the effect.
Enrollments are down, and fewer students means less tuition reimbursement.
In these past 10 years, the state's support has dwindled from 40 percent funding to 23 percent this year.
To help reduce expenses, Avandano said the school has either eliminated positions or reduced workers from full-time status to part time. The number of employees affected is about 50 and includes teachers, administration and support staff.
In the sports department, the athletic director, an administrative assistant, the men's basketball coach and the volleyball coach have all gone from full- to part-time status.
Avendano said. "even if a new budget happens now, KCC won't see any of the state funding this fiscal year."
State Sen. Jason Barickman has concerns about the nearly $2 billion spending bill to help fund local government services. The Republican voice for east-central Illinois says the bill falls short .....
"This is problematic in that the legislature needs to pass a comprehensive budget that lives within its means," Barickman said. "We missed the opportunity to do that by our own deadline which was May 31, so we are kind of limping along."
The Illinois House easily passed a bill on Wednesday to fund roads, veterans homes, energy assistance, and lottery prizes. Barickman said he expects the Illinois Senate to pass it on Monday. Gov. Bruce Rauner has indicated he would sign it.
Illinois is now in the sixth month without a budget.
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS ISSUED A DENSE FOG ADVISORY IN EFFECT FOR OUR AREA LATE MORNING. ABUNDANT LOW LEVEL MOISTURE COMBINED WITH A LIGHT WIND REGIME HAS LED TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF DENSE FOG OVER PARTS OF CENTRAL... EAST CENTRAL AND SOUTHEAST ILLINOIS.
IN ADDITION... SURFACE TEMPERATURES WERE BELOW FREEZING OVER A LARGE PART OF THE ADVISORY AREA WHICH WILL LEAD TO SOME ICE FORMATION ON BRIDGE DECKS...OVERPASSES AND ON/OFF RAMPS. A SLOW IMPROVEMENT IS EXPECTED OVER MOST OF THE AREA LATE THIS MORNING. ...DENSE FOG ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 11 AM CST THIS MORNING...
* VISIBILITY...LESS THAN ONE QUARTER OF A MILE OR LESS AT TIMES WILL GRADUALLY EXPAND EAST AND SOUTH EARLY THIS MORNING.