“It’s about half of all money for local programs for each office,” Beaumont said. “All of these funds are salaries for people. We expect 400 lost positions.”
Agriculture has stopped doling out the grants, even though lawmakers approved money for them in the current budget. The department said it has no choice because there is a $750 million shortfall and the state cannot afford to spend all of the money allocated. Gov. Rod Blagojevich has asked lawmakers to end some business tax breaks and dip into restricted funds to raise additional revenue for the fiscal year that ends June 30.
The Sangamon-Menard Extension office will lose about $273,000, or about half of its budget, said director Diane Duewer, who is reviewing her spending plan to determine where money can be saved and if some of her eight staff members will have to be let go.
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