The dust is settling after all the 4-H shows and fairs and the kids are headed back to school.
At the time I write this, we are nearly a month into the new fiscal year and there is no state budget. On June 12, the Governor suspended the line items in the Illinois Department of Agriculture for the funding for University of Illinois Extension County Board Matching Funds, Youth Development and Cook County Initiative. Funding has also been suspended for 4-H premiums. We expected a 20% cut, but not elimination! In broad terms, with this funding suspension, our local Extension income will be cut in half.
In addition, the University of Illinois may be cut 30% which will impact the local Extension operations as well. Extension Administration is working to develop a number of financial scenarios to help us plan for reductions.
Extension is only one of many agencies, organizations and services that are facing a significant reduction in State funding. Here's hoping when the dust in Springfield settles and a budget is passed, Extension will at least have some of its funding restored.
In the meantime, we will continue to provide high quality educational programs that you can use to improve your lives, families and communities.
As always, please contact me if you have questions or concerns.
County Extension Director