ParksExpansionSignSuburban park districts now have increased authority to use surplus funds, increasing governmental efficiency. The budget flexibility legislation sponsored by State Senator Tom Cullerton was signed into law today.

The new law gives park boards the ability to adjust their budget plans if they receive new, unanticipated funds during the fiscal year.

“This added flexibility will help park districts better serve their communities by streamlining the budgeting process,” Cullerton said. “Improving government efficiency and effectiveness has been one of my top priorities.”

Park districts approve their annual operating budget at the beginning of every fiscal year. Unanticipated r

evenue cannot be included in park districts’ budgets. 

Under existing law, if a park district applies for and receives a grant after its budget is approved, new revenue cannot be appropriated in the budget—meaning the district would be unable to use that money that fiscal year.

This authority allows park district boards to use new revenue more quickly.  The new law permits districts to approve the use of new funds through supplemental appropriation ordinances. Park boards can approve these ordinances at regular meetings.

Cities and villages already have this authority. Cullerton’s plan extends the same flexibility to park districts.