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Killexams.com OG0-9AB Dumps and Real Questions 2019

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OG0-9AB exam Dumps Source : TOGAF 8 - 9 Advanced Bridge

Test Code : OG0-9AB
Test Name : TOGAF 8 - 9 Advanced Bridge
Vendor Name : The-Open-Group
Q&A : 66 Real Questions

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The-Open-Group TOGAF 8 - 9

IndEA project in response to TOGAF®, a typical of The Open community, informed by way of UN to Governments seeking to obtain SDGs | killexams.com Real Questions and Pass4sure dumps

SAN FRANCISCO--(company WIRE)--nowadays The Open community, the vendor- and expertise-impartial expertise consortium, introduced that the United nations (UN) has noted the India commercial enterprise structure (IndEA) challenge as a work of reference for other world governments trying to invest in digital applied sciences to achieve sustainable construction goals (SDGs).

The Open community has been working with the Indian executive and in November 2018, IndEA become formally notified as an Indian national average. built the usage of the TOGAF® framework, IndEA establishes gold standard-in-class architectural governance, tactics and practices using tips and communique technologies (ICT) infrastructure and applications. This presents a singular govt event to the residents and corporations of India via cashless, paperless, and faceless features enabled by Boundaryless guidance move™.

Following the success of the IndEA assignment ITU, a United international locations agency for ICT, has referenced the mission and TOGAF® because the suggested framework in a record entitled ‘SDG Digital funding Framework’. This record is a reference text for its 193 member states worldwide, looks at entire-of-govt techniques to investing in digital applied sciences to achieve SDGs.

Digital India is a flagship software run by using the Indian government, and has a imaginative and prescient to transform India into a digitally empowered society and capabilities financial system. subsequently, ICT is now considered a core factor of the nation’s financial, social and political landscape, with business structure (EA) and the adoption of requisites as foundational and key to success.

The primary targets of IndEA are to:

  • catch and codify latest abilities and adventure in a consolidated form for capable reference to any individual
  • Kick-beginning EA initiatives across India, overlaying entire state governments and other government and public sector entities
  • Enrich the procurement technique and supply more desirable leverage to government agencies when managing their vendors
  • doc concerns and issues contextual to India, in order that the finer nuances of governance are captured and taken under consideration
  • assist India’s transition in opposition t digital governance and a knowledge economic system as envisaged in the Digital India initiative
  • Steve Nunn, CEO of The Open neighborhood mentioned, “at the Open community, we are proud to see how a hit the IndEA task has been, and believe privileged to had been in a position to work with the Indian government on the sort of seminal initiative. IndEA has shown how, via investing in shared digital infrastructure and using a whole-of-govt approach, a country can obtain its sustainable building desires, which sooner or later benefits now not simply its whole population, but probably others too.”

    Dr. Pallab Saha, Chief Architect, South Asia, The Open neighborhood, commented, “aim and mission are essential to governments. In setting up the India business architecture Framework, in accordance with TOGAF®, there was a aware effort to anchor it to the UN’s SDGs. The SDGs give course to create results which are important to and measurable via governments, giving a typical shared imaginative and prescient which enables consensus amongst distinctive stakeholders. i am very happy to look that our thinking and approach has been mentioned by the ITU and is being suggested to different countries throughout the SDG Digital funding Framework."

    you can find extra tips on the IndEA task on The Open neighborhood weblog right here

    you can discover a summary of the ITU report right here

    -ENDS-

    about the Open neighborhood

    The Open group is a world consortium that enables the achievement of company goals via technology requisites. Our diverse membership of more than 625 corporations comprises valued clientele, techniques and solutions suppliers, device carriers, integrators, teachers, and consultants across numerous industries. extra tips on The Open group will also be discovered at www.opengroup.org.


    Leveraging TOGAF 9 for Innovation, Market Response, & Governance benefits | killexams.com Real Questions and Pass4sure dumps

    We assess the maturing use of The Open neighborhood architecture Framework (TOGAF), and the way enterprise architects and company leaders are advancing and exploiting the latest version 9.

    The panel explores how the whole embrace of TOGAF, its concepts, and methodologies are benefiting corporations in their pursuit of more desirable innovation, responsiveness to markets, and operational governance.

    Is business structure (EA) joining different company transformation brokers as a part of a bigger and prolonged strategic price? How? And what exactly are the most reliable practitioners of TOGAF getting for his or her efforts in terms of company achievements?

    here to reply such questions, and delve into advanced use and extended merits of EA frameworks, is Chris Forde, vp of commercial enterprise structure and Membership Capabilities for The Open group, who's primarily based in Shanghai, and Jason Uppal, Chief Architect at QR techniques, primarily based in Toronto. The panel is moderated through Dana Gardner, most important Analyst at Interarbor solutions. [Disclosure: The Open Group is a sponsor of BriefingsDirect podcasts.]

    Uppal: here's a time for the business architects to in fact step up to the plate and be liable for precise performance have an effect on on the corporation’s final analysis.

    If we will enhance things like exploiting belongings more advantageous today than what we have, enrich our planning software, and have very measurable and unambiguous performance indicator that we're committing to, here is a big step forward for business architects and relocating faraway from expertise and frameworks to true-time problems that resonate with executives and align to enterprise and in IT.

    An illustration the place EA has a big impact in lots of of the businesses is ... we're able to catch the innovation that exists in the company -- and make that innovation true, as adverse to just tips which are thrown in a container, and no-one ever sees.

    Say you define an conclusion-to-conclusion manner the usage of architecture construction components (ADM) methods in TOGAF. This offers me a means to capture that innovation on the lowest level and then evolve it over time.

    these people who are part of the innovation at the beginning see their innovation or concept progressing throughout the corporation, as the innovation receives aligned to price statements, and cost statements get aligned to their capabilities, and to the suggestions and the projects.

    for this reason, if I make a suggestion of some type, that innovation or conception is seen during the company through the methods like ADM, and the linkage is explicit and very seen to the americans. hence, they believe comfy that their concepts are going somewhere, they are just no longer getting stuck.

    So probably the most things with a framework like a TOGAF is that, on the outdoor, it’s a framework. however on the same time, if you happen to follow this together with the different disciplines, or not it's making a big difference in the company, since it's allowing the IT corporations to ... in reality exploit the present assets that they have already got.

    And [TOGAF helps] make certain the brand new property that they do convey into the corporation are aligned to the enterprise needs.

    Forde: in the end, what you want to be seeing out of your architectural software is relocating the important thing performance indicators (KPIs) for the company, the business levers. If it truly is related to cost reduction or is involving properly-line numbers or some thing, that specific linkage through to the business levers in an structure program is vital.

    Going back to the framework reference, what we have with TOGAF 9 is a couple of belongings, however basically it’s a device that’s available to be custom-made, and it's anticipated to be personalized.

    that you would be able to delivery on the correct and work your manner down during the framework, from this kind of über price proposition, appropriate down via start to the departmental degree or something. Or, that you would be able to come into the backside, within the infrastructure layer, in IT as an example, and work your manner up. Or, which you can are available in at the center. The query is what is impeding your enterprise’s growth or your department’s growth, if those are the concerns which are dealing with you.

    in case you come to the toolset with a problem, you deserve to focus the framework on the area it really is going to assist you get fast price to solving your particular problem set. So when you get into that particular space, then which you can analyze migrating out from that entry aspect, if it is the method, to expanding your use of the framework, the strategies, the capabilities, that are implicit and express in the framework to handle other areas.

    some of the reasons that this framework is so advantageous in so numerous dimensions is that it's a framework. It’s designed to be customized, and is relevant to numerous problems.

    Uppal: when we believe about an superior TOGAF use ..., it allows us to center of attention on the latest belongings that are under deployment in the corporation. How do you get probably the most out of them? An advanced user can work out the way to standardize and scale these belongings into a scalable approach so for this reason they develop into reusable in the organization.

    As we flow up the meals chain from very technology-centric view of a greater optimized and transformed scale, superior clients at that point seem and say -- a framework like TOGAF -- they've all these equipment of their again pocket.

    Now, reckoning on the stakeholder that they're working with, be that a CEO, a CFO, or a junior manager within the line of enterprise, they can truly center of attention them on defining a selected potential that they're working toward and create transitional roadmaps. once these transitional roadmaps are centered, then they can drive that through.

    An advanced user within the company is somebody who has all these tools attainable to them, frameworks attainable to them, however at the same time, are very focused on a selected value beginning factor of their scope.

    It moves the dialog far from this framework debate and very rapidly strikes our dialog into what we do with it.

    One great thing about TOGAF is that, as a result of we get to define what business is and we don't seem to be informed that we must interview the CEO on day one, i will define an business from a manager’s factor of view or a CFO’s point of view and work within that framework. That to me is an advanced user.

    ... i take advantage of methods like TOGAF to define the capabilities in a business approach that [leaders] are trying to optimize, where they're, and what they wish to transition to.

    Very inventive

    here is the place a framework enables me to be very inventive, defining the capabilities and the transition facets, and giving a roadmap to get to these transitions. that's the cleverness and cuteness of structure work, and the real capabilities of an architect comes into, now not in defining the framework, but defining the application of the framework to a particular business approach.

    ... as a result of, what we do in the business space, and we have completed it many times with the framework, is to seem to be on the cost chain of the corporation. and searching on the cost chain, then to map that out to the capabilities required.

    as soon as we know these capabilities, then i can squarely put that query to the executives and say, "tell me which potential you want to be the most reliable at. inform me what potential you need to lead the market in. And, inform me which ability you need to be mediocre and just be at under the benchmark in trade."

    once I get an realizing of which ability I need to be the choicest at, it really is the place I wish to focal point my energy.

    once I get an understanding of which capacity I need to be the foremost at, this is where I wish to focus my energy. these ones that i'm prepared to reside with being mediocre, then i will be able to put a different strategy into vicinity and ask how I outsource these things, and focal point my outsourcing deal on the charge and service.

    here is opposed to having very puzzled contract with the outsourcer, the place in the future i am outsourcing for the cost factors. The other day, i'm outsourcing for boom reasons. It becomes very intricate for an organization to control the contracts and bend it to give the assist.

    That conversation, at first, is getting executives to decide to which ability they need to be most fulfilling at. this is an outstanding dialog for an enterprise architect.

    My own experience has been that if I get a call again from the government, and that they say they want to be most excellent at every one of them, then I say, "well, you really don’t have a clue what you're speakme about. that you would be able to’t be super speedy and tremendous good at every single element that you just do."

    one of the most issues that we've got been [at next week's conference] from the business’s element of view is saying that this conversation across the frameworks is a completed deal now, as a result of every person accepted that we have respectable sufficient frameworks. We're moving to the subsequent section of what we do with these frameworks.

    continual planningIn Austin we will be looking at how we're the use of a TOGAF framework to enhance ongoing annual business and IT planning. we now have a particular instance that we're going to bring out where we looked at an organization that changed into doing once-a-yr planning. That changed into now not a extremely positive means for the groups. They wanted to change it to continual planning, which skill planning that happens throughout the 12 months.

    We recognized 4 or five very specific measurable goals that the software had, equivalent to accuracy of your plan, company goals being carried out by the plan, time and cost to control and govern the plan, and stakeholders’ pride. these are the areas that we are defining as to how the TOGAF like framework will be utilized to remedy a particular problem like business planning and governance.

    that's something we could be bringing to our convention in Austin and that experience could be held on a Sunday. in the future, we'll be doing much more of these certain functions of a framework like a TOGAF to a unique set of complications which are very tangible and that they very right away resonate with the executives, now not in IT, but within the entire corporation.

    In our future conferences, we're going to be addressing that and asserting what people are exceptionally doing with these frameworks, not to debate the framework itself, but the application of it.

    Forde: Jason goes to be talking as a senior architect at the convention on the utilized facet of TOGAF on Sunday [July 17]. For the Monday plenary, this is really the rundown. we've David Baker, a main from PricewaterhouseCoopers, speakme about enterprise driven structure for strategic transformations.

    this is a time now for the enterprise architects to definitely step up to the plate and be accountable for true performance have an impact on on the corporation’s final analysis.

    Following that, Tim Barnes, the chief Architect at Devon energy out of Canada, protecting what they're doing from an EA standpoint with their firm.

    Then, we'll wrap up the morning with Mike Wolf, the main Architect for EA approach and structure at Microsoft, speaking about IT architecture to the commercial enterprise structure.

    this is a really potent lineup of americans addressing this company focus in EA and the utility of it for strategic transformations, which I believe are issues that many, many businesses are battling.

    skill-based mostly planning

    Uppal: The whole of our skill-based planning dialog changed into introduced in TOGAF 9, and we bought more legs to go into developing that theory additional, as we learn the way ultimate to do some of these issues.

    once I study a ability-based planning, I expect my executives to look at it from some extent of view and ask what are the alternatives and threats. What it's that you should get accessible within the trade, when you've got this potential for your back pocket? Don’t fret about how we're going to get it first, let’s make a decision that it’s price getting it.

    Then, we center of attention the corporation into the long haul and say, neatly, if we don’t have this ability and no-one within the industry has this capacity, if we do have it, what will it do for us? It gives us a further view, a protracted-time period view, of the corporation. How are we going to focus our consideration on the capabilities?

    probably the most beauties of doing EA is, is that once we delivery EA at the starting element of a strategic intent, that gives us an excellent 10-15 12 months view of what our enterprise is going to be like. after we delivery structure at the enterprise approach stage, that gives us a six months to 5-12 months view.

    enterprise architects are very helpful at having two views of the realm -- a 5-, 10-, or 15-yr view of the realm, and a 6-month to three-yr view of the area. If we don’t center of attention on the strategic intent, we are going to not ever be aware of what's feasible, and we might at all times be working on what's viable within our firm, as antagonistic to pondering of what's feasible in the business as an entire.

    every person is attempting to be aware what it is they need to be respectable at and what it's their companions are very good at that they can leverage.

    Forde: in the types of atmosphere that the majority agencies are working in -- executive, for-earnings, no longer-for-income businesses -- every person is trying to consider what it is that they need to be first rate at and what it's their companions are very first rate at that they can leverage. Their choices around this are of direction crucial.

    one of the issues that you just deserve to trust is that when you are going to provide X out and have the vigor to manage that and operate whatever it's, whatever manner it might possibly be, what do you need to be respectable at as a way to make them advantageous? one of the most stuff you deserve to be first rate at is managing third events.

    one of the vital advanced makes use of of an EA is making use of the structure to those administration techniques. in the maturity of things that you could see potentially a fantastic company managing a couple of companions through an architected strategy to things. So once we pointed out what do advanced clients do, what i am offering is that an superior use of EA is in the utility of it to third-birthday party administration.

    Framework necessity

    You need a framework. feel about what most fundamental Fortune 500 businesses in the u.s. do. they have diverse, varied IT companions for utility development and probably for operations. They break up the community out. They split the desktop out. This creates a terrific diploma of complexity around diverse contracts. when you have an integrator, that’s wonderful, however how do you manipulate the integrator?

    There’s a whole slew of advanced problems. What we now have learned over the years is that the fashioned theory of “outsourcing,” or anything the time period that’s going to be used, we are inclined to feel of that within the abstract, as one recreation, when definitely it may be anyplace from 5-25 companions. Coordinating that complexity is an immense concern for businesses, and taking an architected method to that difficulty is an superior use of EA.

    Uppal: Chris is correct. for instance, there are two capabilities that a company we labored with decided on ... that they desired to be very, very first rate at.

    We worked with a large concrete manufacturing business. when you are a concrete manufacturing business, your largest charge is the cement. in case you can take advantage of your potential to optimize the cement and substitute items with the chemical compounds and get the same performance, you can truly get much more return and higher margins for the same concrete.

    The next element is the cleverness of the architect -- how he makes use of his equipment to really define the best possible solutions.

    during this company, the concrete manufacturing system itself turned into core competency. That had to be kept in-apartment. The infrastructure is simple to make the concrete, nonetheless it wasn’t the core competency of the firm. So these things had to be outsourced.

    during this company we should build a technique -- the way to control the outsourcers and, at the same time, have a potential and a process. additionally, a way to develop into most useful concrete manufacturers. those two primary capabilities have been identified.

    An EA framework like TOGAF definitely allows you to construct both of these capabilities, because it doesn’t care. It just thinks, ok, I actually have a ability to construct, and that i am going to provide you with a group of instructions, the style you do it. The subsequent element is the cleverness of the architect -- how he uses his equipment to basically define the very best options.

    Very express model

    Our governance mannequin is very explicit about who does what and when and how you computer screen it. We extended this conversation the use of TOGAF 9 repeatedly. at the end, when the ability is deployed, the initial value remark that changed into created within the company architecture is given again to the executive who requested for that means.

    we are saying, "here is what the benefits of these capabilities are and you signed off at first. Now, you might be going to find out that you simply received the means. we're going to flow this aspect into strategic planning next year, as a result of for subsequent yr's planning beginning element, this is going to be your baseline." So no longer simplest is the governance just to be sure it’s via monitoring, however did we in fact get the business rankings that we predicted out of it.

    ... The complete cloud dialog becomes a extremely constructive dialog inside the IT corporation.

    once we consider about cloud, we now have basically completed cloud earlier than. here is no longer a brand new component, except that earlier than we checked out it from a hosting element of view and from a SaaS factor of view. Now, cloud is entering into a an awful lot extra prolonged means, where complete capability is provided to you. That skill is not most effective that the infrastructure is being used for someone else, however the complete trade’s potential is in that ability.

    here is fitting a extremely standard issue, and rightfully so, no longer because it’s a sexy factor to have. In healthcare, above all in nations where it’s a socialized healthcare and it's now not monopolized, they're sharing this talents within the cloud house with all the hospitals. or not it's fitting a extremely productive thing, and commercial enterprise architects are riding it, as a result of we're thinking of capabilities, not components.

    IT interaction

    Forde: below average instances the IT agencies are very decent at interacting with different technology areas of the enterprise. From what I've viewed with the corporations I even have handled, typically they see slices of company tactics, as opposed to the conclusion-to-conclusion manner fully.

    Even inside the IT businesses customarily, on account of the dimension of many businesses, you've got some type of division of obligations. so far as Jason’s emphasis on capabilities and company approaches, of direction the capabilities and processes transcend useful areas in an organization.

    To the extent that a company unit or a business area has a process owner conclusion to end, they might also neatly be more suitable positioned to control the BPM outsourcing-classification of issues. If there's a heavy technology orientation across the procedure outsourcing, you then will see the IT corporation being worried to one extent or one other.

    The real question is, where is essentially the most positive knowledge, ability, and event around managing these outsourcing capabilities? It may well be in the IT organization or it could be in the business unit, however you need to determine the place that is.

    below general circumstances the IT corporations are very good at interacting with other know-how areas of the business.

    it really is one of the crucial features that the structure procedures. You deserve to examine what it is it really is going to make you a success in this. If what you want occurs to be within the IT organization, then go along with that skill. whether it is extra effective in the business unit, then go along with that. and perhaps the answer is that you simply need to combine or create a brand new purposeful firm for the certain purpose of meeting that undertaking and outsource want.

    for many, if now not all, organizations, information and statistics are essential to their operation and planning actions, both on a every day basis, month-to-month, yearly, and in longer time spans. So the information wants of a company are fully critical in any architected approach to solutions or value-add category of actions.

    I don’t consider i would settle for the assumption that the IT department is most appropriate-placed to be aware what these suggestions wants are. The IT firm could be well-placed to supply enter into what technologies can be applied to these issues, but when the advice needs are continually being applied to business issues, as adverse to know-how issues, i'd imply that it is probably the company contraptions that are superior-placed to decide what their assistance needs are and how premier to practice them.

    The technologist’s function, at least in the model i am suggesting, is to be supportive in that and convey the correct know-how, at the appropriate time, for the right goal.


    TOGAF 9.1 sequence — ADM section — E — alternatives and solutions | killexams.com Real Questions and Pass4sure dumps

    CecilBlockedUnblockFollowFollowing

    may also 16, 2017

    have you ever heard of TOGAF and not ever truly understood it? In my TOGAF 9.1 sequence of articles, i will be able to provide you with summary facets what TOGAF is and what you're going to study in TOGAF.

    I actually have written the TOGAF exam ages returned. i believed that writing this series will let me assessment the TOGAF content and believe that it will be effective to others. it's at all times a superb observe to continually review the contents of a subject matter that you've realized.

    I’m not going to rewrite the legitimate TOGAF books content in my article collection. Some sections will handiest contain bullet features of keyword phrases utilized in TOGAF. at all times reference the authentic TOGAF booklet for extra particulars.

    felony aspects

    TOGAF is a trademark of The Open group. They hold the TOGAF standard and free up new versions of the framework. I extremely suggest that you just study the reliable web site and content material of TOGAF on the reputable website: http://www.opengroup.org/subjectareas/commercial enterprise/togaf

    The contents in my article sequence are my opinions and in no way reflects the views of The Open neighborhood.

    if you are interested in learning the entire finer particulars of TOGAF or need to write the examination then buy the professional booklet:

    determine 1: TOGAF version 9.1 publication ADM section — E — opportunities and solutionsObjectives
  • Generate the initial finished edition of the structure Roadmap, based upon the hole analysis and candidate structure Roadmap accessories from Phases B, C and D.
  • verify whether an incremental method is required and if so determine Transition architecture that will convey continuous company value.
  • Steps
  • assess/verify key company exchange attributes.
  • verify enterprise constraints for implementation.
  • evaluation and consolidate gap analysis effects from Phases B to D.
  • overview consolidated necessities throughout linked business functions.
  • Consolidate and reconcile interoperability requirements.
  • Refine and validate dependencies.
  • verify readiness and risk for enterprise transformation.
  • Formulate implementation and Migration method.
  • establish and community most important work programs.
  • identify Transition architecture.
  • Create structure Roadmap & Implementation and Migration Plan.
  • Inputs
  • Product tips
  • Request for structure Work
  • ability evaluation
  • communication Plan
  • Planning methodologies
  • Governance models and frameworks
  • tailor-made structure Framework
  • statement of structure Work
  • structure imaginative and prescient
  • structure Repository
  • Draft architecture Definition doc
  • Draft structure necessities Specification
  • change Requests for existing programs and initiatives.
  • Candidate architecture Roadmap accessories from Phases B, C and D
  • Outputs
  • remark of structure Work, updated if integral.
  • architecture vision, updated if indispensable.
  • Draft architecture Definition document

  • Transition structure, quantity, and scope
  • Draft architecture requirements Specification, up-to-date if essential.

    Consolidate and validate architecture Roadmap.

    means assessment, together with

  • company skill
  • IT ability
  • structure Roadmap, including

  • Work package portfolio
  • Identification of Transition structure
  • affect analysis — undertaking list
  • Implementation strategies
  • Implementation and Migration Plan, together with

  • Implementation and Migration strategy

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    Innophos Holdings Inc (IPHS) Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript | killexams.com real questions and Pass4sure dumps

    Logo of jester cap with thought bubble.

    Image source: The Motley Fool.

    Innophos Holdings Inc  (NASDAQ:IPHS)Q4 2018 Earnings Conference CallFeb. 20, 2019, 9:00 a.m. ET

    Contents:
  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants
  • Prepared Remarks:

    Operator

    Greetings, and welcome to the Innophos Fourth Quarter 2018 Earnings Conference Call. My name is Michelle and I will be your operator for today's call. (Operator Instructions) Please note that this conference is being recorded.

    I would now like to turn the call over to your host Mark Feuerbach, Vice President of Investor Relations. Mr. Feuerbach, you may begin.

    Mark Feuerbach -- Vice President Investor Relations, Treasury, FP&A

    Good morning and thank you for joining us today for Innophos' Fourth Quarter and Year-End 2018 Results Conference Call. Joining me on the call today are Kim Ann Mink, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer and Han Kieftenbeld, Chief Financial Officer.

    Please turn to Slide Two. During the course of this call, management may make or reiterate forward-looking statements made in this morning's press release regarding financial performance and future events. We will attempt to identify these statements by use of words such as expects, believes, anticipates, intends, estimates and other words that denote future events. These forward-looking statements are subject to material risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. We caution you to consider the important risks and other factors as set forth in the forward-looking statements section and in Item 1A Risk Factors in our Annual Report on Form 10-K as filed with the SEC that could cause actual results to differ from those in the forward-looking statements made in this conference call.

    Also, I would like to remind you that during the course of this conference call management will discuss non-GAAP measures in talking about the Company's performance. Our adjusted EBITDA financial measure excludes stock-based compensation, currency translation, severance, value chain transition expenses, Mexico natural gas imbalance and supply adjustment charges, fair value inventory adjustments and M&A-related costs. Please refer to our press release, the appendix of today's presentation and our SEC filings for the GAAP to non-GAAP reconciliations.

    We will make a replay of this conference call available for a limited time over the telephone at the numbers set forth in the press release and via webcast available on the company website. In addition, please note that the date of this conference call is February 20, 2019, and the presentation for this call can be found on our website at www.innophos.com in the Investor Relations Events section.

    Any forward-looking statements we may make today are based on assumptions that we believe to be reasonable as of this date, and we undertake no obligation to update these statements.

    Please turn to Slide Three. During the call today, management will be reviewing our fourth quarter and year-end 2018 financial performance and 2019 outlook, after which we will open the call up for questions.

    With that, please turn to Slide Four, as I turn the call over to Dr. Kim Ann Mink.

    Kim Ann Mink -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

    Thanks Mark, and good morning everyone, and thank you for joining us today. 2018 was an important transition year for Innophos, as we executed against our Vision 2022 strategic road map by building the critical capabilities that will transform the growth profile of the company. Significant strides we made in advancing the multi-faceted strategic value chain repositioning initiative, developing innovative solutions that better serve our customers and enhance our position in attractive Food, Health and Nutrition end markets and capitalizing on our values selling commercial model.

    On a full year basis, we grew sales by 11%, GAAP net income by 61% and adjusted EBITDA by 4%, all consistent with our expectations going into the quarter. Now in Q4, sales of $193 million were flat compared with the prior-year as a stabilized base business and pricing power were partially offset by lower nutrition sales resulting from our previously announced decision to discontinue a portion of low-margin nutrition trading business.

    GAAP net income for the quarter was $5 million, or $0.24 per share, which was 143% ahead of Q4 2017 due primarily to tax reform changes in the prior year. Q4 adjusted EBITDA of $30 million was up 10% and adjusted EBITDA margin of 15% was up 143 basis points as higher input costs were fully offset by the benefits of selling price increases and lower operating expense.

    Further by remaining disciplined with the management of our liquidity position, we reduced our debt and realized net leverage up 2.2 times. Now by taking actions to proactively manage near-term market dynamics, while advancing our key initiatives under our Strategic Pillars, we are entering 2019 with good momentum. Our priorities this year are to execute against these initiatives in order to pursue our Vision 2022 goals and deliver long-term value for our customers and shareholders.

    Please turn to Slide Five. Now before moving onto strategic highlights, I want to note that despite the headwinds we faced throughout 2018, we achieved year-over-year revenue and EBITDA growth and importantly, sequential stability across key metrics. Notably, 2018 revenue grew compared with 2017, as acquisitions and pricing actions in our base business more than offset operations related issues and the discontinuation of select low-margin nutrition trading business in the second half of 2018. Adjusted EBITDA was up on a full year basis and was also sequentially consistent throughout the year.

    With that, I would like to take a closer look at some of the key achievements in 2018 under our Strategic Pillars, so please turn to Slide Six. In operational excellence, significant progress was made throughout the year in advancing our strategic value chain repositioning initiative with the completion of major milestone. This included, the signing of strategic PPA and MGA supply agreements and we see of the negotiated $20 million payment to offset near-term value chain specific transition charges, as well as the long lead-time environmental and operational government permits.

    We also advanced the multi-faceted CapEx investments to increase the self-sufficiency of MGA supply from the Coatzacoalcos facility and switched the Geismar facility to the new multi-source supply structure. The transition of the multi-faceted supply chain is expected to continue through the first half of 2019, with the benefit of the lower cost structure being captured during the latter half of the year. Now we do remain on track to deliver adjusted diluted EPS improvement of 10%, which represent an estimated annual run rate of $0.25 to $0.27 per share.

    Additionally, in Q4 we completed our Phase II operational excellence program capturing a total of $5 million of savings in 2018, across raw material purchases, MRO ports and labor and planning and logistics. This did fall short of the Phase II operational excellence savings target of $9 million due to the unprecedented increases in freight market rate.

    Now under Commercial Excellence, our commercial organization has continue to successfully leverage our pricing power to offset input cost increases from inflation and higher freight expenses. We have made great progress in involving our go-to-market value-selling model. We now have cross-functional market segment teams in place that will leverage our expertise across innovation, technology, marketing and sales and the shift to a value-based selling approach has enabled Innophos to more effectively understand the market and customers we serve. This has been key in supporting our efforts to capture price increases and in driving success with new product development initiatives under the strategic growth pillar.

    Now under Strategic Growth, we remain focused on advancing both organic and inorganic growth opportunities that strengthen Innophos' position as a value-adding higher margin ingredient solutions provider for high growth FHN market. Now on the organic side, we do continue to deliver wins through our SPARC new product development program. These efforts leverage our acquired and legacy capabilities as well as our cross-functional commercial models. They also support our strategy to shift our portfolio mix over time to a greater level of higher margin, higher value branded ingredient and formulated solutions.

    So for example, during the fourth quarter, we have launched a new proprietary herbal blend for a well-known global consumer health company. This new product required specialized processing to deliver specific properties that support the launch of two new product forms, chewable and effervescent tablets, under a well-known brand supporting immune health.

    Our formulators also developed a custom blend of health promoting minerals and vitamins for children's chewable product launched in Asia for one of our global dietary supplement customers. And finally supporting the demand by today's active consumers for nutrition derived from natural, plant-based sources, we've launched a vegan mineral complex for a new dietary supplement for the sports nutrition market.

    We also continue to actively evaluate M&A opportunities to drive inorganic growth that meet our disciplined and requisite, corporate strategic and financial criteria to strengthen our FHN platform. At this stage in our transformation, our three strategic pillars are deeply ingrained in the Innophos culture and highly interconnected. So, looking forward to 2019, our focus is on executing on the key initiatives across our strategic pillars. And by doing so, we are positioning Innophos to deliver improved profitability and realigns our Vision 2022 goals for sustainable top and bottom line growth.

    So with that, I'll now turn the call over to Han. Han?

    Han Kieftenbeld -- Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

    Thank you Kim Ann, and good morning everyone. Please turn to Slide Seven. Before I review the details of our Q4 financial performance, I would like to note key financial highlights for the quarter. Q4 revenue of $193 million was in line with our guidance and the prior year. Adjusted EBITDA also in line with our guidance was up 10% year-over-year with an adjusted EBITDA margin of 15%, reflecting base business, price increases that exceeded input cost increases. We ended the year with a strong cash position including $52 million of free cash flow generated in the quarter, which is triple the prior-year quarter, as we received the $20 million Nutrien payment and $23 million from the sale leaseback transaction.

    Now let's turn to Slide Eight to take a closer look at the quarter details. Sales of $193 million in the quarter were flat year-over-year, as the 3% increase in the base business was offset by the discontinued portion of low-margin nutrition trading business, which we communicated in Q3. Volumes were down 7%, while average selling prices were up 7%.

    On a full-year basis, our sales improved by 11% versus 2017, reflecting the benefit of our acquisitions and proactive pricing programs that have offset input cost increases. Q4 gross margin was 15% down 147 basis points from the prior-year quarter due to the impacts from the value chain transition charges, higher energy cost and the write-off of mining concessions in Mexico, an action we decided to take as the mining rights acquired in 2009 do not align with our strategy. Excluding the impact from these cost increases, Q4 gross margin would have been 19% of sales. For the full-year, gross margin was impacted by the same factors.

    Moving on to earnings on Slide Nine. Q4 net income of $5 million was 143% higher than the prior year due to tax reform provisions booked in the prior-year quarter. Adjusted EBITDA of $30 million was up 10% compared with last year, which included a Mexico plant maintenance outage. As shown on the adjusted EBITDA bridge, selling price increases offset lower volumes and higher input cost in Q4 and for the full year.

    Moving on to Slide 10 to review our performance by segment. FHN Q4 sales of $113 million represent a 58% of total company sales and were down 2% overall, as the 5% increase from prices was offset by an 8% decrease in volumes, due largely to our decision to discontinue a portion of low-margin nutrition trading business.

    On a full year basis, the FHN segment represented 60% of the year sales, an increase from 55% in 2017. FHN Q4 adjusted EBITDA margin of 15% was sequentially similar to the past two quarters, but 377 basis points below Q4 2017 due to continued increases in freight market rates and other input cost.

    IS Q4 sales were up 1%, as a 7% selling price increase was largely offset by a 5% volume decline. The IS Q4 adjusted EBITDA margin of 15% was significantly above the same quarter last year due to improved selling prices in 2018 and a favorable comparison from the maintenance outage effects in Q4 of 2017. Other Q4 sales were $15 million, up 11% compared with the same period last year, as higher co-product selling prices more than offset lower volumes. Other adjusted EBITDA margin of 22% was up 90 basis points from Q4 2017.

    Now turning to Slide 11. In the fourth quarter, net interest expense of $4 million was up $1 million due to higher average debt levels along with higher market interest rates. The underlying effective Q4 tax rate were 38%, higher-than-expected due to foreign exchange effects, which have been taken out for adjusted diluted EPS. The Q4 rates normalized for these FX effects was 30%.

    Capital expenditures of $13 million in the quarter were $3 million higher than prior year mostly due to the value chain reposition and manufacturing optimization initiatives. We paid $9 million in dividends during the quarter and maintained our annual dividend rate of $1.92 per share.

    Net debt was $280 million in Q4, down $1 million year-over-year, as we remain disciplined with the management of our liquidity position. Our net debt-to-adjusted-EBITDA ratio was 2. 2 times compared to 2.3 times last year. In December, we proactively put an interest rate swap in place fixing LIBOR at 2.677%. This rate will be valid for three years on a $150 million of our debt.

    Now turning to Slide 12. On a GAAP basis, earnings per share of $0.24 was up a 142% due to tax reform provisions taken in the prior-year period. Q4 adjusted diluted EPS was $0.54, up $0.02 or $0.03 -- 3% year-over-year as the high EBITDA contribution was largely offset by higher adjusted tax rate of 30% in the current year versus 17% in the prior year.

    Moving to Slide 13. Q4 cash from operations was $43 million and free cash flow was $52 million, three-times the prior-year quarter, reflecting the receipt of the $20 million Nutrien payment and $23 million from the sale lease-back transaction. Average working capital for the quarter and for the full year 2018, was 23% of sales.

    Now turning to our revenue outlook on Slide 14. Overall market conditions and the competitive landscape in 2019 are expected to be similar to 2018. Revenues are expected to be largely in line with 2018 revenue of $802 million and approximately equally split between H1 and H2. The underlying base business is expected to remain stable.

    Positive year-over-year contributors to 2019 revenue are: Selling price increases with a particular focus on Food, Health and Nutrition, new product development wins, and new business gains. These gains are expected to be offset by: The discontinuation of lower margin FHN nutrition trading business in 2018, lower co-product sales in the Other segment due to efficiency improvements delivered from the strategic value chain initiatives, and indirect tariffs pressure from competition redirecting mostly technical grade product to international markets. We anticipate limited direct impact on our North American sales.

    Now turning to our earnings outlook on Slide 15. Adjusted EBITDA is expected to grow 1% to 3% in 2019 from $125 million in 2018, with phasing in the range of 42% to 45% in H1 and 55% to 58% in H2. Positive year-over-year contributions to 2019 earnings are expected from: Selling price increases, margin contribution from business gains and new product development, and the strategic value chain program, which is on track to realize adjusted diluted EPS improvement of 10%, or $0.25 to $0. 27 per share run rate by the end of 2019.

    These gains are expected to be partly offset by: Input cost increases for raw materials and freight, and higher costs related to Mexico energy supply shortages that are expected through H1 of 2019. The anticipated non-recurring portion is expected to be adjusted for non-GAAP purposes.

    From a GAAP and cash perspective, the expectation is that costs will be higher during H1. The anticipated non-recurring portion is expected to be adjusted for non-GAAP reporting purposes such as value chain transition expenses and Mexico natural gas supply adjustment charges.

    Capital investments are expected to be in line with 2018 to finalize the value chain and manufacturing optimization program that commenced in 2018. Average working capital is estimated to remain in line with 2018. The company expects its effective tax rate to operate in the 28% to 32% range.

    With that, I'll turn the call back over to Kim Ann.

    Kim Ann Mink -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

    Thanks Han. And before we open the call up for questions, please turn to Slide 16, as I highlight a few key points. Now although we expect to face some headwinds in 2019, our base business remains stable and we are confident that we have the critical capabilities in place under our strategic pillars to deliver on our promise to generate sustainable value for our shareholders, our customers and our employees.

    Now in 2018, we made exceptional progress with the complex, strategic value chain initiative and as a result, we are on track to meaningfully reduce our cost bases, as we move through 2019. Through our commercial excellence work, we have established deep customer relationship that are supported by a cross-functional go-to-market model and insights-driven value proposition and the strong commercial foundation positions us to continue to proactively leverage our value-selling approach.

    We also have excellent momentum with the SPARC program and expect to accelerate our rate of new product introductions, as we move through the year. And finally, our M&A pipeline remains active and we are committed to pursuing further inorganic growth initiatives that shift our position over time to value-adding, higher-margin ingredient solutions provider. We look forward to keeping you updated, as we execute on our plan and continue on the path to deliver our longer term Vision 2022 goals.

    So with that, we'll now open the call for questions.

    Questions and Answers:

    Operator

    Thank you. We will now be conducting a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions) Our first question comes from the line of Larry Solow with CJS Securities. Please proceed with your question.

    Larry Solow -- CJS Securities -- Analyst

    Hi. Good morning, guys. Thanks.

    Kim Ann Mink -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

    Hi Larry. How are you?

    Han Kieftenbeld -- Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

    Good morning.

    Larry Solow -- CJS Securities -- Analyst

    I'm doing great. Could you just maybe give us, Han maybe or Kim Ann, just a little more color on the sales outlook. It sounds like this price increases are sort of offsetting the calling activity in your base business. And then there's a little bit of stuff in the other in the tolling business that's impacting you. And maybe a little bit impact from tariffs.

    But just on the base business, novel ingredients and the other nutritional business, are they still growing sort of at the 6% to 8% rate, you'd thought? And then maybe phosphates are more flat to slightly up? I know you mentioned price increases, but those seem to be more just some reaction to the higher cost basis. So, could you just give us a little more volume look, and what's driving the revenue?

    Han Kieftenbeld -- Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

    Yes. So, Larry this is Han. Good morning. So, if we look just at the past quarter and then I'll talk to you a little bit about the looking ahead. We obviously saw the impact. We mentioned it in the remarks that we just made from the low-margin nutrition. If you actually look and you asked specifically about the acquisitions, we did see volume growth to the tune of 3%. But if you actually take out that particular fact and the decision we made, we're closer to 6%. So, actually, so that's in line with, where we expect it to be as you mentioned the range. So, that just a little bit of a background of information.

    Looking ahead, obviously from a year-over-year comps perspective, we will not have that piece of business. And you also mentioned indeed there was a piece in the Other segment, which is the co-product sales due to the efficiencies that we're going to realize in our Coatzacoalcos facility that we will no longer have. So, we're kind of starting up from a little lower base if you will, that's the way to think about it. And then as we're growing back, we're growing back our revenue and that's why we said in line with 2018. But make no mistake, there was actually underlying growth in both the phosphates and the nutrition portfolio to actually get us back to that same level.

    Kim Ann Mink -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

    Right. And, Larry, if you strip all those factors out, the company would be showing growth at the top-line just over 3%.

    Han Kieftenbeld -- Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

    Yeah.

    Larry Solow -- CJS Securities -- Analyst

    But it seems to me that the mix of your revenue is certainly getting better obviously right? You're intentionally calling out some of the lower-margin stuff, which I know you did for a couple of years and then you had stopped and then I guess this is in relation to novel more, you know, more novel. But and then obviously some of the stuff that's also dropping off is the tolling stuff, which I imagine at the end of the day on the bottom line profit is not driving much of a drop.

    So, I'm now just trying to struggle a little bit with why the EBITDA number is sort of -- is it just -- because if we look back last year, your guidance for '18 was $140 million, and we're now in 2019 and we're only guiding to under $130 million. So, I'm just trying to sort of gap the two if you will?

    Han Kieftenbeld -- Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

    Yeah. So, if you look at this year's jump off point, obviously, so the $125 million, we see obviously some margin impact from, albeit small, from the business that we talked about in terms of that being discontinued, if you take that into consideration. The other factors are obviously there is continued input cost and freight market rate increases that we factor in this outlook.

    The other thing that is -- that is there is, we talked about the Mexico energy component that is -- that is still sizable it was in Q4 and we see that. For now at least based on the best information we have, we see that for the first half of 2019, but obviously, we're seeing to take stock as we learn more about that. But those are factors Larry on the downside that we see.

    Now on the positive side, we see wins from NPD, so new product development. We see gains, business gains particularly in our nutrition portfolio to make up for some of the discontinued business. And then thirdly, our continued focus on value selling and the selling price increases, those are the three factors that we see to more than offset some of the downside that I just mentioned.

    Kim Ann Mink -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

    Yeah, so Larry I would sort of summarize all that. We're really providing what we believe is a realistic view of the year, given the factors that we're aware of. We're really focused on controlling the factors that we can control, things like NPD, things like pricing, by closely monitoring those that we can. And those are those, if you kind of think of the three buckets that are impacting us from an earnings standpoint: The Mexico energy.

    Larry Solow -- CJS Securities -- Analyst

    Right.

    Kim Ann Mink -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

    The continuing increase in freight charges; and those in-direct impacts from tariffs, if you think about those three buckets. So, again base business stable. We're seeing actually increase, but if you take away -- when you take away the headwinds, but those headwinds are real.

    Larry Solow -- CJS Securities -- Analyst

    Right. That's fair enough. And just on the value chain initiatives and I know your guidance, you have certainly more back-end loaded. Do you start getting some of that benefit in '19? I mean is there any way to sort of save that $0.20 $0.25, you achieve x percent in '19 and the rest in '20. Is it, it sounds like majority is in '20, but is there a piece in '19 that you actually realize?

    Han Kieftenbeld -- Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

    Yes, there is Larry. So, the way we're looking at it right now and obviously we're going through this transition still in the first half of 2019, making sure that everything is lined up in terms of our storage, our supply chain with the new supply mix, if you will. What we expect is to see an effect that's what we factored in for this outlook right now is for the second half, OK. So, if you look at that number and you look at the $0.25 to $0.27, we factored in the second half component of that.

    Now the one thing that we've mentioned before is always that we hold approximately a quarter worth of inventory, so that basically means that as we get to realize this benefit is pretty much takes an average of three months to actually go through the system, if you will, from the balance sheet into the P&L. But just to be crisp on the answer, the answer is, is that we factored in half of -- for the second half of the benefit that we've talked about.

    Kim Ann Mink -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

    And Larry one last item I would add is just to put it into context, it's taking the first half of the year to really optimize the new supply structure, and hence the reason, why the benefits are more back-end loaded.

    Larry Solow -- CJS Securities -- Analyst

    Okay, fair enough. And then just how about, lastly, I realize the acquisitions are not an exact science and I imagine that the queue is still very full, but just globally can you give us sort of an update, I know, you guys have targeted, sort of, I guess almost getting EBITDA to double with the sort of rate we're at today and that by 2022 is that maybe a little bit pushed out now, or is it any thoughts on that?

    Kim Ann Mink -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

    Yes, no, I can start here. Our pipeline remains very active. And as we've spoken about in the past, we're looking at target acquisitions that are really going to build on the novel and NutraGenesis acquisition is really strengthening that FHN platform. I can say we continue to be actively pursuing our M&A agenda and evaluate opportunities, but we are disciplined and we look at our financial and strategic fit criteria.

    With regard to Vision 2022, we are on track. We do remain on track to hit that $1.25 billion, which as we discussed and as we rolled out our Vision 2022, $475 million of that would come from M&A. So, we do remain on track that was actually, when we put that Vision 2022 out, that was actually looking at getting our first tranche, if you will, of new acquisitions in the 2018 timeframe and we actually bought them in 2017. So, we still remain confident about that direction.

    Larry Solow -- CJS Securities -- Analyst

    Great. Okay, excellent. Thank you.

    Operator

    Thank you. (Operator Instructions) There are no further questions at this time. I would like to turn the call back over to Ms. Mink for any closing remarks.

    Kim Ann Mink -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

    Sure. Thank you, Michelle. I want to thank everyone for joining us today and we look forward to keeping you updated on our progress throughout 2019. Thanks again, and have a great day.

    Operator

    Thank you. This concludes today's teleconference. You may disconnect your lines at this time. Thank you for your participation and have a wonderful day.

    Duration: 33 minutes

    Call participants:

    Mark Feuerbach -- Vice President Investor Relations, Treasury, FP&A

    Kim Ann Mink -- Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President

    Han Kieftenbeld -- Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

    Larry Solow -- CJS Securities -- Analyst

    More IPHS analysis

    Transcript powered by AlphaStreet

    This article is a transcript of this conference call produced for The Motley Fool. While we strive for our Foolish Best, there may be errors, omissions, or inaccuracies in this transcript. As with all our articles, The Motley Fool does not assume any responsibility for your use of this content, and we strongly encourage you to do your own research, including listening to the call yourself and reading the company's SEC filings. Please see our Terms and Conditions for additional details, including our Obligatory Capitalized Disclaimers of Liability.

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    Read Gov. J.B. Pritzker's prepared remarks for his first state budget address | killexams.com real questions and Pass4sure dumps

    Speaker Madigan, President Cullerton, Leader Durkin, Leader Brady, Lieutenant Governor Stratton, Attorney General Raoul, Secretary White, Comptroller Mendoza, Treasurer Frerichs, Members of the General Assembly, honored guests and citizens, and the extraordinary First Lady of Illinois, my wife MK. Thank you all for your warm welcome.

    I ask that we begin today by taking a moment to grieve with our neighbors in Aurora over the grave tragedy that occurred less than a week ago. Five good people killed in an evil act of workplace violence. Five police officers who were injured when they ran into gunfire. As I said Friday when I visited Aurora, may the memory of those that we lost be a blessing; may their memory fuel our work to bring peace to our state; and may G-d bless the brave law enforcement officers who continue to run toward danger.

    Please join me in a moment of silence.

    … 

    Every one of us who serves in public office becomes a student of history. So few people have held these jobs – we must allow the experiences of those who came before us help shape what lies ahead.

    Every year, the Governor of Illinois is required to provide the General Assembly with a proposed budget and an update on the condition of our state. It’s a tradition in true keeping with our democracy and a task that requires humble honesty and some bold optimism. Today I offer that proposal and report with an eye toward our shared history and our hopes for the future.

    Illinois’ 200-year history is a web of recurring challenges, the same themes recycling with each new decade. Indeed, when reviewing past reports to the General Assembly by previous governors, the same problems are raised over and over again: There is not enough money to address social ills, not enough jobs to employ people, not enough resources to adequately maintain and build our infrastructure, and not enough attention to the plight of working families. It may not surprise you to learn that these problems existed in 1819, they existed in 1919 and they exist today in 2019.

    Invoking the Great Depression, Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivers first budget proposal amid $3.2 billion deficit

    Comparing Illinois’ financial morass to the challenges the state faced during the Great Depression, Gov. J.B. Pritzker used his first budget address Wednesday to lay out the initial stages of a multiyear road map that is ultimately dependent upon voters approving a graduated income tax.

    In a 37-minute...

    History can be a cruel exercise in pessimism if you narrow your gaze. But if you widen your vision just a little bit, you will see that the recurring reports from the past have been occasionally dotted with unapologetic optimists who focused on tackling old problems with new ideas and new vigor, reducing the burden for each generation along the way.

    One of those unapologetic optimists was Governor Henry Horner, who took office in 1933. It puts the current day in honest perspective to think about the challenges Horner faced.

    The Great Depression had just begun…Nearly half of Illinois’ work force was unemployed…Hungry workers were marching on Springfield…Teachers had not received a paycheck in nearly a year…Labor disputes were ending in bloodshed…Banks were shuttering… And to add to it all, floods were sweeping across wide swaths of the state.

    Nevertheless, with the daunting nature of the state’s condition, Horner approached his job with optimism, with wit and with a dogged work ethic. In a speech soon after he took office, he said:

    “We have got to hurdle a few more obstacles before we are on the broad highway of return to normal conditions. However, the road is clearly in sight.”

    Today, that is where we find ourselves again. 

    The road to normal conditions is in sight. However, to get there, we must begin with an honest accounting of the struggles of the last few years and the challenges left behind.

    Illinois is faced with a $3.2 billion budget deficit and a $15 billion debt from unpaid bills. Last year alone, the state paid out more than $700 million in late payment penalties. That’s enough to cover free four-year university tuition for more than 12,000 students.

    We are dealing with a fundamental structural deficit that has existed for quite some time and spanned the administrations of several governors. And it won’t be solved until we rethink our spending priorities and some basic revenue issues facing the state. 

    During a time of unprecedented economic growth across the country, we lost four valuable years because of an ideological battle.

    That stops now.

    Budgeting will not be done any more by taking the state hostage, or by court orders, consent decrees and continuing appropriations but instead by debate and compromise and a return to regular order. We will work together earnestly to solve the state’s problems. We will disagree at times on important things, but the work we all came here to do will get done.

    To that end, the budget I present to you today is an honest proposal – the costs are not hidden, the revenues I propose are not out of reach, the hole we need to fill is not ignored. There’s no fantasy line item called “Working together or executive management.” Instead this budget proposal reflects some of my most deeply held values – and the hopes of voters who sent us here – but tempered by the knowledge that we must hold the line on spending in the context of the revenue available and the diminished condition of our state government.

    Undoubtedly all of you will bring your own priorities, ideas, and concerns to the budget process. I welcome that conversation – that’s as it should be. We are all here, Democrats and Republicans, with the common desire to serve the people of our state well. And we do that better when we talk to each other, and more importantly, listen to each other.

    I have tried in the weeks leading up to today to get to know each of you, to meet your families, to dance together to Maroon 5 songs, and to have an open door to conversation and collegiality and finding common ground. As it turns out, some of you are pretty good dancers! Some of us, not so much.

    All I’m suggesting is I don’t think we spend enough time getting to know one another as people before we get to know one another as political opponents.

    My first week here, Senator Sue Rezin stopped by the Governor’s office to introduce herself. I invited her to sit with me so I could learn about her district and, we talked about how we can attract more business to Northern Illinois.

    I found out a little bit more about Sue. She’s a mom of four, runs a real estate business with her husband, and started volunteering for the Make-A-Wish foundation 30 years ago when she was first starting her family because it offered her a flexible schedule. I gotta say I’m not sure how a Mom of four finds any flexibility in her schedule but I’m impressed with the tremendous generosity of spirit that she looked for the opportunity to give her time to those in need when she must have barely had any time for herself.

    I will not soon forget, even when we inevitably disagree, that Senator Rezin extended a hand in friendship to me on my first few days on the job. Sue makes no bones about being a conservative. And I’m not shy to say I’m a Democrat. But I know we will get more done for Illinois by listening to each other, which we will do with respect and civility.

    It is with the knowledge that people with true generosity of spirit occupy both sides of the aisle here in Springfield, that I set out on the task of providing a new direction for our state. This is not the work of just one year. Real fiscal stability requires a long-term commitment to paying down debt, investing in critical infrastructure, and stabilizing our pension system.

    It also requires a recognition that to lower costs and increase revenue over the long term we must make investments in education, livable wages, innovative human service programs and job training. We must stop slashing programs that build future prosperity – if we cut skills training and college affordability, we curb near term economic growth, lower our prospects for future revenue, and drive businesses away. If we don’t fund inexpensive gun violence prevention programs, we will see more tragedy and higher public safety expenditures. If we don’t have strong social service programs that assist families dealing with a loved one’s mental health crisis, then we increase a family’s suffering and increase the potential future financial burden on the state. In the past it has been the practice of too many politicians to be short sighted about slashing costs and then to bemoan the state of the state when those cuts have long-term consequences on the economy.

    So let’s not hollow out vital government services any more.

    Instead, we must focus on making government more efficient and effective. Let’s make sure we are focused on truly managing and measuring the real results of state programs. Taxpayers deserve to know their dollars are being spent wisely. Programs that don’t work need to be eliminated. And we need to explore new ways to address old problems.

    Efficiently saving tax dollars, though, isn’t enough to lift Illinois out of our fiscal mess. We must also grow jobs.

    We can do that by fostering a business environment in Illinois that will attract talent and entrepreneurs from all over the country. We need to continue to grow our position as a top-tier startup and technology ecosystem, and we are doing that in this budget with new investments and by re-prioritizing dollars within the departments of our state government.

    We are a big state with real infrastructure and transportation options, world class logistics companies and some of the busiest distribution centers in the nation. We must be prepared to make a big investment in our transportation and infrastructure with the passage of a Capital Bill that will be introduced in this legislative session.

    We can grow our economy and make it more inclusive by taking advantage of the talent among the diverse people of our state. That’s why we must promote the development of sustained wealth in black and brown communities by being purposeful about increasing the number of minority-owned businesses eligible for state procurement opportunities and by attracting private capital to build out new businesses and jobs in Opportunity Zones. And I want downstate Republicans and Democrats to work together with me on a Downstate Revitalization Plan to encourage the creation of new businesses and jobs and foster the growth of existing ones in struggling communities so they can thrive.

     …

    To get to fiscal stability and eliminate our structural deficit, there’s no quick fix. It took decades to get us into this mess. It will take at least several years to get us out of it.

    We must therefore embrace a multi-year approach with fair principles and smart investments in our people. Our state does well when our people do well.

    I want to be clear about this…this Fiscal Year 2020 budget is balanced, but that’s not enough. This is only Year One of a multi-year endeavor, and very importantly it is built on the state’s current regressive tax structure that I do not favor and that puts the greatest burden on working families. Not only is our tax system unfair, it’s also inadequate to solve our long-term financial challenges.

    It’s time for a change.

    Workers deserve an income tax cut and a property tax break. A fair tax system will allow us to eliminate the structural deficit that has plagued our state for nearly two decades.

    There is unanimous agreement in this room that if we want to solve our state’s fiscal woes we cannot continue on the path we are on. There is a structural deficit today of over $3 billion per year that if left unaddressed will continue to grow. There is a backlog of unpaid bills and debt associated with it that exceeds $15 billion. In addition there is a built-in multi-billion-dollar deficit of funding for schools and universities and human services that most families rely upon.

    For the sake of argument let’s agree that there’s at least a need to address the structural deficit with enough to pay off the backlog over several years. We are talking about billions of dollars each year to fill the hole in our future budgets.

    There are, in essence, three alternative options for fixing this problem:

    First, we could choose only to cut state government spending and raise no revenue. To do that, we have to recognize that out of this year’s $39 billion budget, approximately $20 billion is required payments on our debt, on our pensions, on our court-ordered obligations or federally protected programs. That leaves approximately $19 billion dollars. That’s the money we spend educating our children, running our colleges and universities, keeping our streets safe, preserving our natural resources, getting people to and from work efficiently and caring for our veterans. We’ll call that “discretionary spending.” To balance the budget by simply cutting government, we would have to reduce discretionary spending on all these direct services our jobs, our families and our businesses rely on by approximately 15%. That’s 15% fewer state police, 15% fewer students going to college, 15% fewer working parents receiving child care assistance, and 15% less money for your local schools – which likely also means your local property taxes will increase. I should point out that this option was tried in the prior administration, and it failed - because nearly no one thinks it’s a good idea to force our most talented kids to leave the state by diminishing Illinois colleges and universities, drive families away by defunding local schools, make our communities less safe by reducing public safety, and increase poverty by cutting badly needed human services.

    Our second option is to raise revenue with our current regressive flat income tax system and impose more flat taxes which fall disproportionately on the working poor and the middle class. This option could require imposing sales taxes on services, implementing a retirement tax, or raising the income tax overall by around 20%. Or all of the above. For a family earning $100,000, that means paying almost a thousand dollars more in income taxes, and their property taxes will continue their upward march as they always have.

    Our third option is to reject imposing additional income, retirement and sales taxes on the middle class and instead enact a fair income tax. This would lift some of the tax burden off of middle income earners and instead ask the wealthiest to pay a little more. Just for clarity, a fair tax is what three quarters of states with income taxes have. We can accomplish this with a more competitive rate structure than Wisconsin and Iowa, both of which are outpacing Illinois in job creation and economic growth. We can also implement a fair tax system that’s lower than our metropolitan competitors on the east and west coasts.

    Make no bones about it, I choose to stand up for working families and will lead the charge to finally enact a fair tax system in Illinois. 

    Ultimately, our chief responsibility to the people of Illinois is to set this state on a path to sustainable growth with an income tax system that is fair. It is not fair that I pay the same tax rate as a teacher, a child care worker, a police officer or a nurse. And efforts to simply increase the income tax rate across the board fuels further income inequality and kicks the can down the road for our children and grandchildren to solve our ongoing budget issues. The state needs a fair tax, and I am going to be relentless in pursuing one over the next two years.

    My office intends to immediately begin negotiations over proposed fair tax rates with leaders from the House and Senate. Conversations and debate about rate structures and how much revenue we need to raise are appropriate. I expect different opinions and viewpoints over the best way to achieve an equitable tax system, and I sincerely welcome that conversation. I have already asked a few legislators who oppose the fair tax to offer their best ideas to improve it, and I am confident they will come to the table in good faith.

    What is not appropriate is a small collection of the wealthiest people thinking that they should drown out millions of lower and middle income Illinoisans unfairly burdened by the current flat tax system.

    Now, I understand that I am an unlikely proponent for this much needed change. But perhaps the fact that the heaviest burdens would fall on taxpayers like myself under a new fair tax system will convince many of you that I am proposing this path forward because I truly believe it’s what is best for Illinois.

    To fix our state’s problems, we need fundamental tax reform. There’s no hiding from it. There’s no running from it. There’s no lying about it. I choose a fair tax system to get us out of this mess. 

    It will take 18 months to get it done, but it’s worth the wait so we can save working families hundreds or thousands of dollars per year.

    A fair tax will change the arc of Illinois’ finances forever.

    Until then, this proposed budget serves as a bridge to a stable fiscal future.

    Which is why I am proposing a fiscal year 2020 budget with re-prioritized and controlled spending that targets increases in three key areas that will help our state thrive and grow: education, health and human services, and public safety – investments in people that I believe will pay dividends down the road. This is a constrained budget – more austere than I would like – but I think it’s important that we be disciplined and focused over the next few years to pay down our bill backlog and the debt left over from prior administrations.

    The responsible course of action is to embrace some near term reasonable – and realistic – new revenue, which will bring in an estimated $1.1 billion in total.

    Let’s begin with this: By legalizing and regulating adult-use cannabis in this legislative session, we will create jobs and bring in $170 million in licensing and other fees in fiscal year 2020. I have noted many times that I don’t view this issue through a purely financial lens. I think we should take this action for our state because of the beneficial criminal and social justice implications and the jobs it will create. And let’s be honest, like it or not, cannabis is readily available right now. I would rather the state tax it and regulate it than deny the reality of its use and accessibility.

    This budget also includes the legalization and taxation of sports betting. Expansion of gambling is a perennial effort in this state, and often these proposals get bogged down in regional disputes and a Christmas tree approach. But in those instances, we were talking about adding more riverboats or adding into other regions. Sports betting is different – this is a new market created by a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision. Every day we argue about “who’s in and who’s out” is money that goes to other states and to the black market. I am calling on the legislature to take this up immediately so that Illinois can realize hundreds of millions of dollars, create new jobs, and bring sports betting into a regulated environment that will protect citizens from bad actors. If we do it this year and become the first state in the Midwest to move on this initiative, we can realize more than $200 million from sports betting fees and taxes in FY 2020.

    I am also proposing that Illinois enact a tax on insurance companies, specifically a managed care organization assessment to help cover the costs of the State’s Medicaid program – something that Leader Greg Harris has championed for many years and that has been enacted in other states. This would be structured to generate approximately $390 million in revenue to cover a portion of the state’s Medicaid costs. This would be a smart way to increase our federal match.

    Bringing efficiencies to state government in addition to these new revenues is not enough for Illinois to reach firm fiscal footing. We must address our pension liabilities. Throughout my campaign I said that we must pay the pensions that are owed, and the Supreme Court has ruled that. And therefore that is what we must do. So I am proposing a responsible approach to our pensions that does not crowd out all the other investments we must make so that Illinois is a state that thrives.

    Twenty-five years ago, when the pension payment schedule was put in place, the well-intentioned architects of it predicted that in fiscal year 2020 we would spend $4.9 billion on pensions. Instead, the bill today is $9.1 billion. Nearly double. This must not continue. We must put the system on a more sustainable path – one that preserves pensions for the retirees that earned them, and at the same time allows us to grow our economy and grow our way out of the pension liability.

    And last week, my administration put forward a 5-point program to do just that. We will dedicate a portion of the new fair income tax – in other words, hundreds of millions of dollars – to the pension system, over and above our required pension payments. We will infuse new assets into the system up front. We will manage our debt through a small-scale pension bond used entirely for reducing our liability. We will make the optional retiree buyout program permanent. And we will smooth the pension ramp by modestly extending it.

    This approach is not one that can be looked at as a menu from which to pick one and discard the rest. There’s no room for that any more. We must attack our pension liability from many angles all at once. And we must be consistent and persistent in this battle.

    Some will criticize this approach. There are those who will say that retirees should lose the benefits they earned. The Supreme Court has made it clear that that is illegal. There are others who would raise taxes on middle class families today. I say middle class families have paid enough. 

    I promised to be honest about our challenges and solutions. This is the most responsible, sustainable and balanced approach to dealing with a problem that was decades in the making and will take years to solve.

    Ultimately, the fair tax must be part of the long term solution to our pensions.

    There are many education, healthcare and job creation initiatives that I think are well worth funding and many opportunities for investments across the state that I talked about during my campaign. But state government today can only do so much, and without a commitment to reaching firm fiscal ground, we will soon be able to do even less. My highest priorities are stabilizing state government, growing our economy, and protecting working families. 

    For our fiscal and economic health, we must start with a sustained effort to restore and improve our education system. 

    I have been advocating for large investments in early childhood education for decades, long before I became governor. Real focus on the learning that happens from birth to age 5 can determine the entire arc of a person’s life. Investing in early childhood is the single most important education policy decision government can make, and it has proven to provide a significant return on investment. That’s why I’m proposing funding the Early Childhood Block Grant at $594 million, an increase of $100 million from fiscal year 2019. It will allow us to begin the march toward universal preschool so that every child in Illinois will have a real opportunity to succeed.

    I have also focused on reversing the damage done to higher education by the budget impasse. College affordability is a paramount investment in near term economic growth for our state. So I’ve proposed a 5 percent increase for public universities and community colleges, as well as an increase in the Monetary Award Program by $50 million to help more than 15,000 more low- and moderate-income students attend college next year. We will do more every year to come. I’m also proposing $35 million for the second-year costs of the AIM HIGH merit scholarship program for high achieving students – so we can keep our best and brightest in Illinois. 

    On a smaller scale, I am consistently looking to maintain or increase funding for programs that have an outsized benefit to the economy for traditionally neglected communities. Along those lines, this budget includes funding for the Advanced Placement Low-Income Test Fee Waiver. The $94 it costs to take an AP History exam is a huge burden for a low-income family. We must be ever mindful of how we as a society inadvertently perpetuate a cycle of poverty and the ways, both large and small, that we can help people find a way out.

     …

    In my inaugural address I said that I would not balance a budget on the backs of the starving, the sick and the suffering, and I keep that promise today by beginning to rebuild health and human services.

    We increase the income eligibility threshold in the Child Care Assistance Program which will give quality care to approximately 10,000 more children. We provide funding to open the new 200-bed Chicago Veterans’ Home, long delayed by the budget impasse. We will be able to hire an additional 126 direct service staff for DCFS to protect children. We will provide funding to help investigate cases of kids’ exposure to lead – this is important, because we have raised our standards to be more aggressive. This budget adds funds for community-based violence interruption, homelessness prevention, behavioral health, mental health, addiction, dementia, and Alzheimer’s.

    This is less than what I would like to do. But it is what we can afford to do in year one of our recovery. 

    As another part of my plan to strengthen working families, we are giving 1.4 million Illinoisans a raise. 

    Our country is engaged in a serious conversation about income inequality right now. I think that’s long overdue. There was a time where we operated with a general philosophy that workers should be able to afford the goods and services that they help to produce. That’s not some outdated notion. It’s fundamentally American.

    Many of you asked me why I made passing a $15 minimum wage an immediate priority given all the challenges our state faces right now.

    The current minimum wage is $8.25 an hour – which means even if you are working full time every week out of the year, you are making $17,000 a year. You can’t send your kids to college on $17,000 a year. You can’t afford a single health emergency, or pay for any of the things that might prevent a health emergency. You can’t sustain child care on $17,000 a year. And you can’t save for retirement. A flat tire or a worn car battery is a genuine fiscal emergency that might also threaten your job. And one paycheck is often the only firewall against homelessness.

    The current minimum wage is a lifetime sentence to poverty.

    Whether you live in Chicago or Cairo, I find that unacceptable, and I worked with the appropriate amount of haste to change it. When your house is burning down, you don’t wait for the rain to put out the fire.

    I said I would put Springfield back on the side of working families, and I meant it.

    Finally, we will do more to keep our neighbors safe in the state of Illinois. This begins with making sure the Illinois State Police can be rebuilt, with two new cadet classes to replenish their dwindling ranks. We will pay for the gun dealer licensing law that I was proud to sign during my first week in office, to take a reasonable step to end the scourge of gun violence in too many of our neighborhoods. We will take a more rigorous approach to getting guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them in the first place. I’m committed to advocating for commonsense gun laws, and I’m committed to making sure that we are implementing the laws we already have on the books more effectively. These investments have taken on an even greater importance since the massacre in Aurora, which serves as a poignant and painful reminder of the work that still remains.

    Every governor deals with their share of trials, tumult and tribulation.

    I mentioned at the beginning of this speech that Henry Horner took office in 1933 at the start of the worst decade of economic decline in US history.

    Horner was good friends with Carl Sandburg. They shared a love of all things related to President Lincoln. In the later years of his life, Sandburg granted an interview about his friend Governor Horner, in which he said, “Horner was the real goods…he got to high places without selling his soul.”

    Indeed, despite all the economic struggles the state faced during the Great Depression, Horner still managed to increase school funding, institute unemployment insurance and pensions for older Illinoisans, create building programs for state institutions and improve public health services.

    He understood that prosperity doesn’t trickle down…it trickles up. When we lift up those who have the least, our boats all rise together.

    Horner was a fundamentally optimistic man. He approached his job as governor with a hopeful heart, and he never let that hope diminish under the uncommon burdens of being head of state.

    He knew what I know…that the state of our state has always been strong because of the values of our people…not the value of our coffers.

    Horner once said: “The only way to carry out any great purpose is not on your shoulders, but in your heart. Carry it on your backs and it may wear you down. Carry it in your hearts and it will lift you up.  Thus, the heart strengthens the purpose, and the purpose gives poise and inspiration to the will.”

    Like you, I carry the burdens of this state in my heart – and despite the heavy load it lifts me up every day. I share my purpose with you so that it may give poise and inspiration to our collective will – because I know the road ahead is hard, but I think it’s about time we all walk it together.

    Thank you.



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