The Illinois Supreme Court on Tuesday moved to temporarily block a state appeals court ruling that tossed out a $31 billion capital construction program.
The latest court ruling allows NIU’s plans for renovation of the Stevens Building, planning funds for a computer technology learning emporium and infrastructure work around campus to move forward while state supreme court justices decide whether to overturn the lower court’s ruling or to hear the state’s appeal.
Last week the Illinois Appellate Court struck down 2009 legislation that hiked taxes on alcoholic beverages and created new taxes on candy and personal grooming projects. Among other things, it also cleared the way for video gambling in bars around the state and privatization of the lottery. Money from those sources was to be used to help fund the projects in the capital bill.
The capital bill included $22 million in funding to remodel and renovate the Stevens Building, and $2 million to plan a new “technology emporium,” as well as millions of dollars for various infrastructure projects and re-appropriation of funds for ongoing capital projects.
Funding for the renovation of Cole Hall and a series of other campus improvements to be funded by bonds sold in December 2010 were not affected by last week’s Appellate Court ruling.