November 10, 2011
Dear Faculty and Staff,
I’m pleased to share with you some very good news from Springfield.
During the veto session, the General Assembly passed legislation that will address a substantial number of challenges we’ve been confronting in the area of procurement. Library purchases and entertainment (including sporting event) contracts will be exempted from the very difficult and costly state procurement processes we’ve been experiencing in the past couple of years. In addition, procurement requirements related to our research and healthcare enterprises will be afforded improved opportunities for waivers under the new legislation.
We’re grateful to our legislators for working closely with us to obtain these accommodations. In particular, House Speaker Michael Madigan and I worked closely with our staffs to develop these important exemptions and accommodations. I’m enormously grateful to Speaker Madigan for his support of the University of Illinois and recognition of our unique situation. I also appreciate the support of House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie and Representative Naomi Jakobsson, as well as Senate President John Cullerton and Senator Mike Frerichs, who assisted us in moving the legislation forward during this brief veto session. Our other local legislators have also offered support for our efforts, for which we’re grateful.
In addition, I want to recognize Kappy Laing and her outstanding Governmental Relations staff. They worked closely with me over the last several months to make our case to members of the General Assembly on this issue and worked especially tirelessly over the last several weeks as we worked with our legislators to develop this much-needed legislation.
I know that this has been an issue that has troubled many of us. It has cost us time and threatened the effectiveness and success of our missions. I’m pleased that we were able to work with our legislators to find a fair path ahead that ensured our continued high ethical standards, while not impeding the many contributions we make to the State and its citizens.
We aren’t quite out of the woods yet. Governor Pat Quinn will still need to approve the legislation, and I can assure you that we will work with the Governor and his staff to convey the value and importance of this bill.
Michael J. Hogan
University of Illinois