URGENT -- Funding Message1/15/2020 10:45:00 AM
The purpose of this message is to give you an honest assessment of the current fiscal situation of the Traffic and Criminal Conviction Surcharge Fund (TACCSF - the sole source of funding for ILETSB operations) and how that situation will be affecting your agencies, enabling you to plan and budget accordingly.
Last fiscal year, there was $3.2M less deposited into the TACCSF than ILETSB was appropriated to spend for the year. So far this year, due to (we believe) the new fee structure put in place effective July 1, 2019, TACCSF collections are down an additional $1.2M for the first half of the year. Deposits for December alone were down nearly half a million from last December.
This financial situation is obviously going to greatly impact all areas of Board function. We have asked the Basic Training Academies around the state to begin informing agencies with recruits enrolled in upcoming academy classes that “direct tuition” agreements between ILETSB and the academies are being temporarily suspended. This is because unless there is a drastic change in the near future, ILETSB will likely not be able to fully reimburse basic training tuition and expenses this year.
This means that the academies will have to go back to the prior practice of billing agencies directly for their recruits’ tuition upon enrollment in the academy. Then, those law enforcement agencies would apply to ILETSB for reimbursement of those training funds at the end of the fiscal year – to be reimbursed at whatever percentage the TACCSF will support at that time. We cannot guarantee that the full amount of tuition will be reimbursed, and in fact, we do not anticipate the ability to fund at 100%. At this time, we cannot yet determine what percentage to even estimate.
The MTUs and the Executive Institute have also been asked to develop and implement cost saving plans until such time as the TACCSF balance recovers. This means that your agencies will be seeing fewer and fewer in-service courses being offered by your local MTUs, and any non-essential services may be temporarily suspended. Some MTUs have even been forced to lay off some of their staff in order to be able to keep the doors open throughout the crisis.
The ILETSB office has also put off filling a number of vacant positions until such time as the TACCSF allows such activity. This means that fewer staff members are doing the work than in years past, resulting in some slightly longer response times during this interim period.
At this point, we are working several avenues to try to solve the problem, but we have no way of knowing how long this crisis may last. We ask for your patience and understanding with this situation until such time as it can be resolved. We also hope that you will watch for any future requests for action and assistance in the upcoming Spring legislative session, while we work with legislators to help address this funding crisis.
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