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March 2010 Archives

As part of its efforts to reduce its budget deficit, the city of Naperville recently approved taking 25 percent of the money collected for the SECA fund and using it to fill gaps in the general fund.

The SECA fund, which aids art, cultural and public service groups, is funded from a downtown food and beverage tax intended for this purpose.

As a result of the 25 percent cut, while $3,649,932 in requests for funding were made, the city was only able to distribute $2,028,515 in awards this year, down from $2,876,568.

With public service agencies and other art and cultural groups facing funding cuts from numerous sources, do you agree with the decision to take money away from what was intended to support these groups to pay for other city needs?

While we have discussed health care a lot on this forum, since the bill passed on Sunday I thought people may want to offer some fresh thoughts, so this is the place to do so.

District 204 announced Thursday that because of state budget cuts, it will have to lay off 145 teachers from its schools. This will represent at cut of 6.5 percent of the teaching staff. Average class sizes in the district will increase by two students at all levels.

The district also plans to cut 6 percent of building level administrators and 14.4 percent of central office staff. Also proposed is a pay freeze for all administrators and cutting all administrators' budgets.

What do you think of this situation? Do you think class size matters?

Gov. Pat Quinn unveiled his proposed 2011 budget Wednesday, and the one thing everyone seems to agree on is they don't like it.

Quinn proposed a 33 percent income tax increase Wednesday that he said would prevent deep cuts to education funding, part of a budget plan that depends mostly on borrowing money and letting unpaid bills pile up for another year.

He presented legislators with a stark choice: Cut support for schools by $1.3 billion or approve a tax increase. But even with a tax increase and spending cuts, Quinn's budget would depend on letting about $6 billion in bills simply go unpaid in the coming year.

He asked lawmakers to raise the tax rate to 4 percent, up from 3 percent now. That would generate $2.8 billion a year, the same amount he sought unsuccessfully last year. His staff said the money would go solely to prevent education cuts and to make overdue payments to Illinois schools.

Quinn's proposal would "balance" the budget by cutting expenses $2 billion, borrowing $4.7 billion to pay overdue bills and simply letting about $6.3 billion in bills go unpaid until the next fiscal year.

If Quinn gets a tax increase, the $1.3 billion in education cuts would be abandoned. That means the total spending cuts would amount to only about $700 million. Quinn aides say the governor already has cut about $2 billion in bureaucratic spending.

Between bills left over from the current year and the projected gap next year, the total deficit will top $13 billion, Quinn said.

Local legislators noted Quinn's proposal said nothing about controlling the cost of pensions, and Quinn's opponent in the November election, Bill Brady, called for a 10 percent across the board budget cut.

What do you think of the budget proposal?

On Tuesday near San Diego, police found what is believed to be the body of 17-year-old Chelsea King, a former Naperville resident. King went jogging on Thursday in a rugged area near San Diego and never returned.

A 30-year-old registered sex offender named John Albert Gardner III has been arrested in the case. Gardner served five years in prison for an attack on a 13-year-old girl and is suspected in the disappearance of a 14-year-old and in the unsuccessful attack on another woman.

Gardner could have been eligible for a sentence of up to 11 years in the previous case but was only sentenced to five. Being on the sex offender list means police knew where to find him, but it did not restrict his actions. While Gardner has not yet been charged, he is the main suspect.

Is there anything else we can do to keep an eye on convicted sex offenders to keep these kinds of tragedies from happening?

Naperville Potluck

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This page is an archive of entries from March 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

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