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budget impasse

The unprecedented Illinois budget impasse has ended ... for now. Lawmakers passed and the governor signed a partial budget Thursday, the final day of fiscal year 2016. But it's only a temporary patch.

The stalemate went longer than many expected.  

Illinois lawmakers are on the verge of passing a state budget, though only a partial one. Thursday is the final day of the 2016 fiscal year.

The plan is for lawmakers to vote on an agreement the governor and the General Assembly's leaders apparently worked out in hours of private meetings yesterday. 

Democratic leaders in the legislature and Gov. Bruce Rauner appear to be close to a deal to approve some funding for social service providers, higher education, capital construction and state operations. The proposal would also fund K-12 schools for all of next fiscal year.

But the plan can’t erase the destruction caused by the state going for a year without a budget.​​

High School Students Make YouTube Plea for Funding

Jun 29, 2016
Traci Johnson/Youtube

Illinois legislators return to Springfield Wednesday with a last ditch effort to reach a bipartisan compromise before a new fiscal year begins Friday.

Students from a small school district in western Illinois are lobbying legislators to keep their school open via a two and a half minute video on YouTube

Illinois lawmakers are expected to vote on a short-term budget on Wednesday, when they'll be back in Springfield for the first time in a month. There's no budget plan in place for the new fiscal year that starts Friday, which could create even more disarray after a year-long stalemate.

Illinois City Tells State To Pay Prison Water Bill

Jun 17, 2016

  Water from the city of Mount Sterling is flowing to Western Illinois Correctional Center, but money to pay for that water isn't flowing back from the state. Illinois owes the city of 2,000 people more than $300,000.

Illinois is preparing to hit the bond market even as the budget impasse has dimmed analysts' views of the state's credit worthiness.

Just as if your credit score declined, Illinois' lower rating makes borrowing more expensive.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner says he's still going to try to a half a billion dollars worth of bonds Thursday to pay for roads and bridges.

Gov. Bruce Rauner marked the end of the legislative session with a blistering attack on Democratic legislators. He then embarked on an eight-city tour — mostly downstate — where he continued his critique.

One of Rauner’s main messages is that Democrats are holding the state budget “hostage” in order to get their way. I thought that accusation of political ill-will had a familiar ring, so I decided to take a closer look at the governor’s communication strategy.

Emily Boyer

Members of the University Professionals of Illinois chapter at Western Illinois University voted overwhelmingly to defer 3% of their compensation for the next two years. They also agreed to pass up a negotiated 1% salary increase.

Breanna Descourouez

Argyle Lake State Park in western Illinois joins public universities and social service providers in feeling the pain of the ongoing state budget impasse.

Illinois Senate Passes $454 Million More For Colleges

May 6, 2016

A $454 million bill to increase funding for financially struggling Illinois colleges and universities has cleared the state Senate.

Lawmakers approved the bill on a near unanimous vote and sent the measure to the House on Thursday.

Democrats who control the Legislature and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner have been unable to agree on a budget since July 1, and higher education institutions have been forced to lay off staff.

Rich Egger

Illinois lawmakers have passed bipartisan legislation to allocate $600-million to higher education. Governor Bruce Rauner is expected to sign the measure.

Under the deal, Western Illinois University would receive about $15-million worth of state appropriations and another $5-million in reimbursements for covering MAP grant funding for low-income students this school year.

Illinois university presidents were stunned last night as the funding measure they thought would provide the first state funds in almost a year suddenly disappeared.

Illinois colleges and universities have gone without state money since last summer.

Illinois' top legislators and the governor met yesterday for the first time this year. There's no indication it led to any resolution of the state's prolonged budget stalemate.

The private meeting lasted roughly an hour.

Republicans are making an offer to get money to social services agencies that have gone three-quarters of the year without any state funding.

Illinois' political stalemate has caused crises all over the state, says Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno.

Rich Egger

State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) said securing funding for higher educations is her biggest legislative priority right now. She applauds the state’s community colleges and four-year universities for standing behind MAP grants for students this year, and added that she doesn’t want the schools to struggle to get through the summer and fall.

Illinois’ Labor Relations Board will hold a hearing to decide if Governor Bruce Rauner and the state’s largest public employees union have reached an impasse.


By the end of next week, Illinois will have gone a full nine months without a budget. And yet, the state's top politicians still aren't talking. The governor and the four legislative leaders went all of June through November without meeting, before finally getting together a couple of times just before the end of 2015. They didn't continue into the new year.


Darin Lahood's Campaign for Congress

Congressman Darin LaHood (R-IL) has been in office a bit more than six months.  LaHood represents the 18th District, has not missed a vote yet, and said he comes home every weekend.

Struggling Illinois Universities Testify Before Lawmakers

Mar 11, 2016
TSPR

Higher education in Illinois has been caught in a continuing battle over the budget. Public universities have struggled to make ends meet without any state aid in the first eight months of this fiscal year.

On a freezing February day in 2007, President Barack Obama announced his bid for the nation's highest office in front of the Old State Capitol in downtown Springfield -- the place where Abraham Lincoln gave his historic "House Divided" speech. At the time, Obama called for hope and change.

Nine years later -- to the very day -- Obama came back to Springfield. In his last year as president, he says he believes in the "politics of hope."

The constitutional requirement for a balanced budget is not as strict as you might think.

Mark your calendars. A date has been set. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has called a meeting with the legislature's leaders to talk about the budget impasse for Nov. 18.

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