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Budget rumors, questions addressed online

March 2, 2011

State Pension & Budget UpdateEvery budget season in Springfield is filled with uncertainty.

This one promises to be more confusing than most, however, as lawmakers explore sweeping changes in state pensions while they struggle to balance the books.

No doubt, rumors will circulate. People will have questions they want answered.

In an effort to provide continuous and updated information, and to reduce stress caused by misinformation, the Division of University Relations has re-activated the Rumors & Questions section of the State Pensions & Budget Update website.

Rumors about budget cuts and pension plan changes, or questions about the current Illinois budget deficit and how it affects NIU, all can be submitted anonymously through the site. Once received, submissions will be reviewed and shared with the appropriate individuals or departments to generate answers or clarify the truthfulness of rumors.

Submissions will be addressed in as timely a manner as possible, and similar questions might be grouped together to avoid duplication of responses.

“We recognize that in this financial climate communication is essential,” NIU President John Peters said. “We hope to keep conversations about the budget focused on facts rather than conjecture. Granted, sometimes the answers might be, ‘We don’t know,’ and the situation is so fluid that there is always a chance things can change, but we will do our best to look into things and provide information.”

The Rumors & Questions section is just one aspect of the State Pensions & Budget Update website.

It also includes links to recent news stories on budget and pension issues, links to the governor’s official budget website, links to legislation pertaining to budget and pension reform measures and tools to help users identify their state legislators and more. The page also includes a running total of how much the university is owed in overdue appropriations from the state.