Mayor John Ostenburg: Illinois Withholding Funds From Municipalities Is Illegal (Audio)

Park Forest, IL-(ENEWSPF)- Mayor John Ostenburg of the Village of Park Forest had some choice words for the state of Illinois, and Gov. Bruce Rauner in particular. Just prior to the village board passing unanimously (2 members absent) a "Resolution Urging Illinois State Leaders to Release Non-General Fund Revenues Payable to Local Governments," Ostenburg had the following to say (above).

His remarks include mention that what the state of Illinois is doing in withholding funds collected by the state for specific uses by municipalities is illegal. Illinois will likely face lawsuits from municipalities, Ostenburg said, and Illinois will lose those lawsuits, given precedent.

The resolution passed by the board follows:

A Resolution Urging Illinois State Leaders to Release Non-General Fund Revenues Payable to Local Governments

WHEREAS, the State of Illinois has been operating without a Fiscal Year 2016 state budget since July 1, 2015; and

WHEREAS, the absence of a budget has resulted in the state withholding over $150 million in revenue owed to municipal governments for lack of appropriation authority; and

WHEREAS, critical local services, such as road construction, maintenance, and repair will remain underfunded until state leaders take action to release local Motor Fuel Tax Funds to municipalities; and

WHEREAS, many municipalities rely on state distributions of local revenue to fund their 9-1-1 service centers and, without these funds, the effectiveness of emergency services to reach citizens will be in peril; and

WHEREAS, municipal budgets and basic services will be negatively impacted without the release of local Use Tax, video gaming fees, and casino fees.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the Mayor and Board of Trustees of the Village of Park Forest, Cook and Will Counties, that we call upon the Governor and General Assembly to take action to immediately release all non-general fund revenues owed to local governments. These funds include revenues from the Motor Fuel Tax, Wireless Service Emergency Fund, Use Tax, Local Government Video Gaming Distributive Fund, and casino gaming. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the Governor, Comptroller, Senate President, Senate Minority Leader, House Speaker, House Minority Leader, local legislators, and the Illinois Municipal League.