Personal Reflection - Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

Personal Reflection

November 11, 2015

Dear IMSA Community,

Happy Veterans Day!  Thank you to all in the IMSA family who have proudly served our country. We were excited to host Lieutenant Commander Chris Dargis ’89 during yesterday’s annual Veterans Day Convocation as he shared how his experience at IMSA had a lasting impact on him and his service to the U.S. Navy helped to shape his leadership.

Unfortunately, I missed Lt Cdr Dargis’ presentation because I was at the State Capitol in Springfield. I’m pleased to report that yesterday the Illinois House of Representatives passed House Bill 4305 with 115 votes. The “Lottery Bill,” as it has become known, included the IMSA Income Fund and other items not funded through the State’s General Revenue Fund. The legislation needs to be passed in the Illinois Senate, but yesterday’s vote and Governor Rauner’s apparent support should set the legislation on a path towards passage. Presently, our best estimate is that the Senate will convene after the New Year.

As a reminder, we generate revenue for the IMSA Income Fund through student and program fees. While the appropriation level in the Bill is just over $3 million, we can only spend what revenue we generate. The amount of funding currently in the Income Fund affords IMSA about one more month of operating expenses. As we create additional revenue, we will continue to add to the Fund’s account.

We really appreciate your support and outreach efforts to ensure passage of the Bill in the Illinois House of Representatives. This step was part of a strategy that we began over three months ago.

I’d also like to recognize State Representative Linda Chapa LaVia who represents the 83rd District—and is a veteran of the U.S. Army. Throughout this prolonged budget process, she has been a champion for our cause and was able to include our Income Fund in HB4305. As you can imagine, there are other agencies and organizations that are seeking funding, but through Rep. Chapa LaVia’s efforts we were one of a small, select group to be included on the legislation.

As Lt Cdr Dargis remarked yesterday, whether as a military officer or in your daily life, leading by influence is far more impactful and relevant than leading by authority. This thought reflects our ongoing efforts with IMSA’s budget. For months we’ve been working hard to reinforce the importance and relevance of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy with our elected officials, aided by the testimonials and support from so many of you. Thank you and again, Happy Veterans Day.

Respectfully,

José M. Torres