WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Illinois budget

  Illinois House Republicans say they’re still waiting on Gov. JB Pritzker to propose specific spending cuts to the state’s current year state budget, which is $4 billion out of balance.

State employees could see furlough days as a way to help the state of Illinois balance its budget. That's according to a plan Gov. JB Pritzker has laid out to cut $700 million from the budget.

Illinois will borrow $2 billion more from the Federal Reserve to pay bills associated with COVID-19, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced Wednesday.

Illinois lawmakers have approved a $40 billion state budget and a plan to address tax rates for a casino expansion during a whirlwind special session held amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Illinois will likely take in $2.7 billion less this fiscal year, which ends in June, and another $4.6 billion less next fiscal year – all fallout from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could end up costing Illinois state government as much as $28 billion in revenue over the next few years. That’s just one of the key takeaways from the latest report from the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is already making plans to spend money from a significant change in the state income tax, even though it can only happen if voters agree to amend the Illinois Constitution this November.

A significant chunk of Pritzker’s annual budget proposal, delivered Wednesday, depends on the governor's graduated income tax.

State agencies are getting a warning from Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s budget office: Be prepared to make significant cuts next year.

Illinois state government is getting a slightly better assessment from one of the major credit rating agencies.

The Illinois General Assembly finally finished its annual legislative session this weekend, with lawmakers approving item after item on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s agenda.

Observers and participants are calling it one of the most significant sessions in living memory.

Illinoisans will soon pay more for gasoline and cigarettes. Those are just two tax increases needed to pay for a $45 billion infrastructure plan, which includes money from sports betting and additional casinos.

A proposal to overhaul Illinois’ income tax took another step forward Wednesday. The graduated income tax easily cleared an early hurdle — passage by the Senate Executive Committee.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker wants to create a host of new taxes to help balance Illinois’ budget — on everything from e-cigarettes to medical insurance companies.

NPR Illinois reporters have been breaking down those revenue-generating ideas. Today we’re looking at a potential tax on shopping bags.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is asking state lawmakers to raise the tax on cigarettes, and begin taxing vaping products. It’s part of a plan he introduced last month to balance the state budget.


WIU Rally: "Stand Up, Fight Back"

Mar 7, 2019
Emily Boyer / Tri States Public Radio

A large crowd gathered late Wednesday afternoon in front of Western Illinois University's main administrative building on the Macomb campus.

Faculty, students, staff, and community members huddled on the steps of Sherman Hall in the cold, chanting, and waving signs with messages such as "Faculty is committed to WIU,"  "Teaching makes admin jobs possible," and "Fight for our families." The group was there for a rally in support of the 132 employees who received layoff notices on March 1.

WIU Sends Out More Layoff Notices

Mar 1, 2019
Emily Boyer / TSPR

Western Illinois University emailed layoff notices on Friday to 132 employees, which is about 8% of the total workforce.

A new report says Illinois state government is at “elevated risk” in the event of an economic downturn.

When it comes to state spending, Illinois politicians are giving voters what they want. That’s the problem.

Rich Egger

Two dozen faculty members at Western Illinois University will lose their jobs as the university contends with declines in student enrollment and state financial support.  During a special meeting of Western's Board of Trustees on Thursday, Chair Cathy Early said the university is repositioning itself while remaining fiscally responsible.

The Higher Education Working Group started meeting last fall to identify ways to reform higher education in Illinois.  And the group continues to meet even after lawmakers adjourned their 2018 legislative session.

The state of Illinois has a budget in place for next fiscal year, which will help public colleges and universities with their planning.  But the president of Western Illinois University said the state appropriation of $47.2 million for WIU falls short of what his school needs.

Watch the first Illinois Issues Forum from Springfield.  Our 2018 election coverage starts discussing the fiscal health of Illinois. 

Last year NPR Illinois toured the state in partnership with NPR member stations to hear how the two-year state budget impasse impacted communities in Illinois. The adoption of a budget provided some clarity for those affected but many challenges remain. 

This year, we aim to seek solutions to many of the fiscal problems that persist and discuss the prominent issues in the 2018 elections. 

TSPR Emily Boyer

Western Illinois University will receive $47.2 million under the state's budget for Fiscal Year '19, which begins July 1, 2018.  That reflects a 2% funding increase for public higher education across the state.  WIU President Jack Thomas told Tri States Public Radio that the slight funding increase is helpful following several years of financial uncertainty including the two year state budget impasse. 

Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed Illinois’ budget into law.

The Illinois legislature overwhelmingly passed a full year budget Thursday. It includes a few plans to cut down on the state’s massive pension debt.


The Illinois General Assembly has approved a budget for the state — and Governor Bruce Rauner is indicating he’ll “enact” it into law.

With just two days remaining in the spring session of the Illinois General Assembly, lawmakers are optimistic about passing a state budget on time.

Passing a state budget is arguably the most important thing the Illinois General Assembly does every year — or at least should do every year.

After last year's drama — when a two-year standoff ended with a Republican revolt against Governor Bruce Rauner — it's an open question about how things will go this year.

So I set out to answer a simple question: Will there be another impasse?

There was a rare meeting Thursday among Gov. Bruce Rauner and the top leaders of the Illinois General Assembly.

Pages