WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Illinois budget

Rich Egger

147 employees are losing their jobs as WIU grapples with a drastic decrease in state support for the current fiscal year and uncertain funding for the coming year.

Amanda Vinicky

As the state budget impasse has entered an eleventh month, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner said he's hopeful a "grand bargain" can be worked out by the end of May.  But he's leaving the bargaining to others.

Budget Director: Western Can Breathe Sigh of Relief

Apr 22, 2016
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.

Kate Mishkin

Five Knox College students joined roughly 1,200 other demonstrators at the Illinois capitol, calling for the state to provide funding for the Monetary Assistance Program (MAP).

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

Students Lead Rally at WIU

Apr 19, 2016
Rich Egger

About three dozen Western Illinois University students and staff members marched across campus Tuesday to advocate for state funding of higher education.  The demonstration was put on by students and was done in support of faculty and staff who face furloughs and layoffs.

Rich Egger

The University Professionals of Illinois, which represents many faculty and some other workers at Western Illinois University, announced a deferred compensation agreement with the administration that will help the university save money the next two fiscal years.

Illinois legislators should expect a delay in their paychecks. Comptroller Leslie Munger announced that elected official' pay will wait in line, just like other bills.

Rich Egger

In a letter to the campus community, WIU President Jack Thomas said around 110 university workers will receive layoff notices within the next week.

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.

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.

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.

Illinois lawmakers are working on a budget for next year, but the state has gone nine months without a budget for this year. Governor Bruce Rauner's office made its case Wednesday before members of the Senate.

  A majority of Illinois voters do not believe that Illinois is headed in the right direction. That's according to a new poll, from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

Higher education continues to be caught in Illinois lawmakers' political crossfire.

WIU Details Furlough Plan

Mar 1, 2016
Rich Egger

Western Illinois University said its plan requiring non-negotiated administrative employees to take unpaid days off the will save $4 million.  The furlough days will begin next month and continue through June 30, which is the end of the fiscal year.

Illinois groups that help homeless youths recently asked Gov. Bruce Rauner to support legislation releasing money state money to them. They had hoped he would supporting funding they say they need to continue operating, but they said Rauner turned them down.

Rich Egger

The administration announced the cuts mid-afternoon Friday.  The cuts will take place over the next two fiscal years, beginning July 1, 2016.  In addition, the university will make additional cuts for the remainder of the current fiscal year.

flickr/ Emilio Kuffer

Gov. Bruce Rauner's plan for next fiscal year seeks to fix the foundation while the house is on fire.

Rich Egger

I never wanted to be a disaster researcher.  In fact, I tried my hardest to avoid it.  The first site for my dissertation research was supposed to be near the town of Campeche in the Yucatan Peninsula.  In October of 1995, while preparing to go to the field, not one but two hurricanes made landfall within a week of each other.  I decided to move my research to Ecuador. 

Illinois Speaker of the House Mike Madigan today announced that he will re-convene hearings on the state’s education funding formula. The state's current formula relies heavily on property taxes, creating a big disparity among schools based on their geographic location. Some districts can spend more than $32,000 per student every year, while others scrape by on a fraction of that amount. 

Money keeps state government going.  From services to employee paychecks.  So, how does the State of Illinois function when it's piling up more bills than it can cover?   

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner wants to reduce the state's prison population by 25 percent in the next ten years.
 
 

But the state's budget impasse is putting ex-offenders at greater risk of returning to prison.

Phil Masterton

The Illinois budget deficit is $1 billion  more than initially predicted.  Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger, who signs checks for the state government, announced Tuesday that Illinois will be more than $6.2 billion dollars in debt by June 30.

The Illinois Senate President is encouraging Governor Bruce Rauner to rethink his priorities on student aid legislation, but the governor was quick to repeat his promise of a veto.

Senate President John Cullerton says he'll hold onto legislation for a couple of weeks, to give the governor time to "cool off," then he'll send it to Rauner for action.

Brian Mackey

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner used his State of the State address Wednesday to say he wants to bring competitive balance back to Illinois.

Brian Mackey

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner shared his vision for the next year during his second State of the State speech, which was delivered to Illinois lawmakers at noon Wednesday.

The state's largest private provider of social-service programs is closing 30 programs serving 4,700 people because of the budget impasse. 

Lutheran Social Services of Illinois announced Friday it is laying off 750 employees -- about 43 percent of its staff. 

President and CEO Mark Stutrud says the state owes $6 million. He says the nonprofit can no longer rely on bank credit or its fundraising foundation to cover its costs. 

afscme31.org

The rift between Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and the state's public employee union has escalated. Friday morning Rauner announced he's asking the state labor board to decide if negotiations with AFSCME have reached an impasse.

Pages