By Shelby R. Farrell


BOONE COUNTY – On Dec. 7, the Illinois Senate and Gov. Bruce Rauner passed a bill releasing some of the money it has owed local governments for more than five months.

Senate Bill 2309 released the motor fuel taxes, video gambling taxes and lottery winnings among other important funds, which totaled over $3 billion.

The Boone County Administrative and Legislative Committee announced the news at their meeting on Dec. 7, along with correspondence about a bill that could have released the funds a month earlier.

State Senator Chapin Rose wrote to the county leaders on Nov. 18 to update them on the possible progress in Springfield.

“Last week, the legislature returned to Springfield anticipating a ‘break’ in the budgetary log jam on a number of issues- including some favorable to you,” Rose wrote.

“At the outset of the week, legislative Democrats and Republicans came to an agreement with Governor Rauner to release MFT (Motor Fuel Tax) money, cash for 911call centers, video gaming money, payment of lottery winnings and other funds, as well as agreements to provide small businesses relief on their unemployment insurance costs and issues related to nursing homes and childcare.”

However, local budget struggles continued when a “Motion to Reconsider” was placed on House Bill 4305. It never went to Senate and couldn’t pass, but the new Senate Bill 2309, went through the Senate and to Gov. Rauner in one day, and Bob Walberg, the Boone County Board of Trustees Chairman, said the county could finally get money it was owed.

“It’s always nice to get money that is coming to you,” he said. “Salting is the first thing that comes to mind. We’ve had good weather so far, but we will be needing it. We wouldn’t have suspended services, but the budget would have been affected. We were operating on last year’s revenues and concerned about it all being used up.”

Boone County Administrator Ken Terrinoni said the bill released $265,000 to Boone County just for the motor fuel tax.

However, the state still owes Boone County $280,000 as refunds for three state required county government positions: State’s Attorney, Public Defender, and the Supervisor of Assessments.

“It’s appreciated that they passed this bill,” Terrinoni said. “There are many other funds that we depend on that aren’t being distributed yet.”

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