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Through the Lens

Proposed IDNR Operating Budget Released

Tue, February 20, 2018

With the release of Governor Rauner’s FY19 proposed operating budget also comes the release of the proposed operating budget for IDNR.  In order to view the proposed budget, click here and go to page 262 of the overall document.  Proposed Operating Budget. I will warn you – it can be a bit mind boggling and may make you feel like your eyes are bleeding before you get all the way through the IDNR section, but it’s worth looking at to get an idea of previous years compared with the proposed budget and to learn what’s being proposed.

Some items of note in the proposed 2019 IDNR budget:
*A 1.5% increase from FY18 that would support a Conservation Officer Trainee class which will be required due to retirement and the current declining numbers of CPO’s in the field.

*Fully funds an historic preservation department which the IDNR acquired during 2017.

*Hunting and fishing licenses will remain the same price for FY19 while maintaining operations of all state parks and campgrounds.

*Continues to fund grants and programs that were included in the fiscal year 2018 budget.

The proposed budget also recommends fiscal year 2019 additional capital spending authority to finish out prior year obligations is included, such as:

*$25 million in authority to fund previous years’ awards for the Museum Grant program

*$64 million to continue prior year grants from the Park and Recreational Facilities (PARC) program

*$30.5 million is included for Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development (OSLAD) projects, including $15.0 million for new projects in fiscal year 2019.


The Governor also proposed a Capital Budget for the IDNR.  The Capital Budget addresses appropriations for assets that have a long-term useful life, such as buildings, highways, underground or surface infrastructure, durable equipment and land. Capital appropriations may span multiple fiscal years. The IDNR Capitol Appropriations Budget is found here begging on page 56. 

In recent years there have been no capital budget appropriations for IDNR. We’ve clearly seen how the lack of a capitol plan and appropriations adversely affected our IDNR properties.  Routine maintenance was deferred. Properties and infrastructure within those properties deteriorated rapidly.  A fully funded capital budget in FY19 would allow the agency to address the $24 million plus backlog in maintenance and site improvements that have been identified. These specific needs are found on page 57.
The proposed Capital Budget provides funding for:

*Pay-as-you-go appropriations allowing the department to carry out projects and programming that are both core to its mission and can allow for federal match or reimbursement.

*The continuation of prior year outdoor grant projects, flood hazard mitigation buyouts, mined lands reclamation, recreational trail and water resources programming.

*Additional spending authority to finish previously awarded projects

How well this budget will be received and what IDNR will end up with by the time all is said and done remains to be seen. For now, let’s just hope that our IDNR will be adequately funded in FY19.

Comments

15 million for 2019 OSLAD projects - thats usually a real waste of funds that DNR should not be involved with.  Take that 15 mill and put it towards state park upgrades, not Park District Thrills.

Posted by BIGPOND on February 20

WTF.


RTT

Posted by Ringtailtrapper on February 20

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