After Budget Passes, Heartland Concerns Shift to Pensions | WGLT

After Budget Passes, Heartland Concerns Shift to Pensions

Jul 19, 2017

Heartland Community College now knows what the state will give to operate in the current fiscal year, but questions remain about the cost-shifting of employee pensions.

Doug Minter, Heartland's vice president for business services, said at Wednesday's Board of Trustees meeting that college officials do not know how much money the state will take away from Heartland by dumping responsibility for pension payments on the college.

"It is tangible evidence that there are now moves to start shifting additional costs for pension funding to us as an employer," said Minter. "But we'll certainly be waiting to be provided guidance on what the actual financial implications of that will be."   

Minter said he doubts Heartland will get the more than $2 million the state owes the college for the last two years. The halt in aid caused Heartland to go through at least two separate waves of cuts and reorganization.

The $2.49 million in state aid approved by lawmakers for Heartland in the budget is a cut of more than $276,000 from two years ago, the last time Illinois had a state budget. 

Minter said the state will likely be more dependable moving forward. 

"We now have the certainty and we'll be able to repair a final budget to present to the board in September with a relatively high degree of confidence of what we should receive from the state for fiscal year '18."

The state will continue to make pension system contributions for existing workers.

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