Inauguration of Constitutional Officers
Last Monday, January 12, 2015 a dozen members of a University of Illinois delegation were invited to attend the inauguration ceremony of the Illinois constitutional officers at the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield. The group included Chairman Ed McMillian and Urbana campus Chancellor Phyllis Wise, both of whom served on the Governor’s transition team, as well as U of I President Bob Easter and Vice Presidents Christophe Pierre and Larry Schook.
Governmental Relations staff continue to meet and build relationships with the new administration staff. The University of Illinois can be part of the solution to the state problems, and a leader in both higher education and economic development.
The University of Illinois was invited by Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration to host a booth at the “Illinois is Back Exposition.” State Relations, University Relations, and the Office of the Vice President for Research worked together to develop materials for the booth. The presentation focused on the University of Illinois’ statewide economic impact, and painted a good picture of the services and resources provided by the University of Illinois for the entire state of Illinois.
Gov. Rauner stopped by the U of I booth and expressed his eagerness to work together on the issues that face the people of Illinois.
The 99th Illinois General Assembly was inaugurated on Wednesday, January 14th. UIS hosted the Illinois House ceremony for the fifth time. Chancellor Susan Koch was able to meet many House members and welcome them to the Springfield campus. The Illinois Senate had their ceremony in the Capitol.
Governor Rauner spent his first days on the job issuing ten Executive Orders that would freeze all state contracts, curtail spending, and broaden ethics and compliance laws. State Relations has met with the Governor’s Office to become informed on how these executive orders might affect the University of Illinois faculty, staff, and students.
Based on guidance from the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget, the executive order applies to all “State Agencies” (as defined in the executive order), to include community colleges, public universities, and any other entity to which any appropriation has been made in the current fiscal year 2015 budget. Only appropriations spending or statutory transfer by a state agency is subject to the executive order.
New University of Illinois Caucus Members
The University of Illinois Caucus is pleased to welcome a number of new members. These new members include, Comptroller Leslie Munger and Senator Scott Bennett of Champaign. State Relations has met with the new members and looks forward to working with them on University of Illinois issues.
The University of Illinois caucus was recognized by the News Gazette in an article about the group and its goals. We look forward to growing and strengthening this group to represent the interests of the
Members of the General Assembly have until February 27th to introduce bills. As they are filed, State Relations will review and reach out to the appropriate departments for comment.
U of I Tracked Bills
Over the past few months, we have reached out to the three campuses and University Administration departments to develop a 2015 Policy Agenda. The University of Illinois legislative priorities will include but not be limited to: stable appropriations, capital improvements, and regulatory relief with the goal of improving our partnerships and relationships with associations, industry, and alumni throughout the state.
The plan for 2015 is to broaden the coalition and partner with students, alumni, stakeholders, and industries throughout the state to advocate on behalf of the University. The U of I will be a partner in promoting economic development and state excellence. Our belief is that what is good for the University of Illinois is good for the state. We will continue to highlight the strong return on investment that we provide to state government.
We will continue to tell the story of the University and the world class students, faculty, research, programs, and staff. State funding for higher education is an investment in Illinois’ future. By working closely with the General Assembly, both the University of Illinois and the state of Illinois can capitalize on this investment for the good of everyone.
As a next step, we will be presenting our 2015 Policy Agenda to the four leaders and the Governor’s Office. We hope to work in conjunction with Illinois Connection, Illinois Extension, the business and labor industries, and other allies to promote this agenda.
2015 State Realations' Events, Save the Date
- February 25th All Capitol U of I Caucus Night: B-ball at the Brickhouse
- March 4th legislative basketball game
- March 10th U of I Caucus Meeting with President-elect Tim Killeen
- March 11th UIS alumni in government breakfast
- April 15th Student Day at the Capitol
- May 6th May Alumni in Government reception
- May 7th UI Day at the Capitol with BOT
99th General Assembly 2015 Legislative Calendar
Gov. Rauner is scheduled to give the State of the State address on February 4th and the State Budget address on February 18th. Both Chambers will be back in Session on January 28th.
Illinois State Senate 2015 calendar
Illinois House of Representatives 2015 calendar