While SCIA was inspired by a student’s idea, the leadership team deliberately designed tactics to in support of our legislative strategy. One involved IMSA’s President positioning the role of a Legislative Director for the Academy, who, in addition to managing the legislative work of students, works directly with the legislators, the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) leaders, and budget staff to foster positive and effective ongoing relationships with elected officials to advocate IMSA’s position on potential new laws and regulations. The Director works alongside the President and the leadership team to implement legislative strategy, and create and provide key documents, from program and alumni fact sheets to financial planning. The budgets for IMSA and all Illinois public universities are now based, in part, on the measurable return of the State’s investment, which is indicated by outreach programs and alumni, shared in legislative and IBHE documents and presentations, and strengthened by the relationships we’ve developed as an Academy.
Budgeting for Results
One such document of the measurable return of the State’s investment is in the annual Budgeting for Resultsreport we create and submit to the Senate Appropriations Committee. This report requirement is an outcome of the increasing budget pressures in Illinois, primarily the growing pension, healthcare and debt obligations, coupled with diminishing state revenues. The Budgeting for Results law was implemented in 2012 to help address how $33 billion per year in general revenue for Illinois could be effectively appropriated among the states’ agencies and educational entities. Using a series of questions that each organization addresses in detailed, written responses, the state appropriations committees allocate state funding (taxpayer dollars) based on the quality and return on investment of publicly-funded programs. IMSA’s answers to these questions and submission of the yearly Budgeting for Results report is part of the legislative research and documentation that the Legislative Director conducts in collaboration with IMSA leadership. The quality of this annual documentation, along with the other presentations and fact sheets we create and provide, strengthens our interactions with legislators, which furthers our two-step legislative strategy.