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Legislative Outlook
Governor's State of the State

On Wednesday, Jan. 31, Governor Bruce Rauner gave his annual State of the State address.  The governor began his address by highlighting historical achievements of the state of Illinois.  He also spoke of his support for the Discovery Partner Institute, a new Chicago-based innovation center that will be led by the University of Illinois System.  He is scheduled to give his annual budget address on Wednesday, Feb. 14, when we will hear details of his budget proposal for fiscal year 2019.  To read Gov. Rauner's State of the State address, please click here.

FY19 Budget Request

The U of I System is requesting a FY19 state appropriation of $681 million, up $98 million from the current fiscal year.  The proposed increase includes $77.3 million to strengthen academic quality, $16.1 million to address facility operations, and $4.5 million to address increased costs.  For historical perspective, the U of I System received a post-supplemental appropriation of $647 million in FY15.  During a two-year budget impasse that followed, funding was limited to  $530.6 million, about 41 percent of the system’s traditional appropriations. Under an agreement last summer that ended the impasse, the U of I System received full funding for FY17, matching the FY15 appropriation.  FY16 funding remained at about $180 million, or 28 percent of the FY15 appropriation.  FY18 funding as reduced 10 percent from FY15, providing about $583 million. 

Capitol Connections
Higher Education Committee staff visit Urbana

Six staff members from the House and Senate Higher Education Committees, from both parties, visited Urbana-Champaign in early Jasnuary.    Together with Illinois Connection, the Office of Governmental Relations (OGR) hosted lunch for staff as well as several tours of facilities on campus. Staff also met with President Tim Killeen and Executive Vice President Barb Wilson to discuss our FY19 appropriations request.

Higher Education Working Group Meeting

Each of  the U of I System’s three universities presented to the higher education working group in Springfield, on Wednesday, Jan. 24.  The higher education working groupw is a group of bipartisan legislators considering higher education funding and issues.  Legislators posed a number of questions regarding enrollment trends and students choosing to attend our peer universities.  The conversation trended towards a philosophical discussion of how schools can improve costs and experiences for students.

Legislators meet at University of Illinois Foundation

On Monday, Jan. 28, OGR hosted seven legislators at Harker Hall to meet with U of I Foundation President Jim Moore, and Urbana Athletic Director Josh Whitman.  The purpose of this meeting was to inform legislators on why  endowment and athletics funding is restricted and cannot be used to replace operating money.  After the meeting, we were able to tour several facilities on the Quad and finished the day meeting Coach Brad Underwood and observing men's basketball practice.

U of I Caucus Breakfast

In conjunction with Illinois Connection, OGR hosted 12 members of our U of I Caucus for a breakfast to kick off the 2018 legislative session.  During this meeting, President Killeen outlined our FY19 appropriations request and our 2018 legislative agenda.  Vice President for Economic Development and Innovation Ed Siedel also shared plans for the Discovery Partners Institute.

Save the Date
  • 2/14: Governor's Budget Address
  • 2/20: U of I Capitol Game Watch Party, Springfield
  • 2/28: U of I Day at the Capitol
  • 3/6-9: President's Executive Leadership Program in Springfield
  • 3/20: Primary Day
  • 3/25: Latino Caucus event at UIC
  • 4/11: Ag Day Breakfast in Springfield
  • 4/17: U of I Caucus Dinner
  • 4/26: U of I Undergraduate Research Day, Statehouse
100th General Assembly Calendar

Illinois State Senate 2018 calendar

Illinois House of Representatives 2018 calendar



Jennifer Creasey, Senior Director of State Relations