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Illinois budget

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.

Jonathan Ahl

The Western Illinois University administration has met with employee groups several times in the past week, trying to find a way to save money while also saving jobs.

Rich Egger

A coalition of education, labor, and non-profit organizations is urging the governor and legislative leaders to cut the cost of higher education for students by providing more funding for its colleges and universities.

MLK, RBG, & Intellectual Leadership

Jan 4, 2016
Rich Egger

Over the winter holidays, I've been thinking about how much my husband and I, as Western Illinois University alumni, have benefited from the liberal arts-based education we received here.

WUIS

The chances of Illinois state leaders approving a budget are now better thanks to a quirk in state law.

Rich Egger

The Western Illinois University Board of Trustees will wait until next month to vote on a massive budget cutting plan.  In a letter issued Tuesday to the campus community, WIU President Jack Thomas said he wants more time to come up with a proposal that threatens the livelihood of fewer people.

An Open Letter to WIU's Board of Trustees

Dec 14, 2015
Tim Schroll

Dear members of the Board of Trustees,

An attack on faculty is an attack on students, the regional economy, and the brand of Western Illinois University. 

Years of mismanagement led to the state’s current fiscal crisis. A recent report from the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA) suggests changes to the budgeting process that could help prevent future disasters. 

  Even with all of its fiscal troubles Illinois will have to put nearly $8 billion into its retirement systems next year -- that's a quarter of the state's expected revenue. Legislative leaders and the governor may finally be poised to begin talking about how they may be able to reduce costs.

Rich Egger

The administration at Western Illinois University announced a plan last week to lay-off 50 teachers plus other staff members next school year.  The faculty union is now calling the plan a violation of its contract.

Rich Egger

The state of Illinois has cut funding to higher education each year for more than a decade.  Those cuts combined with declining enrollment will cause some people to lose their jobs at Western Illinois University.

Rich Egger

Money can now be released in Illinois to local governments and community organizations that have been waiting for state funding since July. The Senate was in Springfield briefly Monday to approve the funding; within hours the governor had signed the plan into law.

Gov. Bruce Rauner spoke in public Wednesday for the first time since Tuesday's big summit with legislative leaders.

WNJI

Illinois could see its already worst-in-the-nation credit rating sink further -- all the way down to "junk" status.  Moody's Vice President Ted Hampton said investors have asked the ratings agency if that's even possible.

Illinois is in uncharted territory. It'll soon hit its sixth month without a budget. 

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democrats who dominate the legislature continue to spar about what Illinois' future should look like. Rauner wants to rein in unions; Democrats say that's akin to bolstering business tycoons at the expense of the middle class.

How long can it go on?

The race for Illinois comptroller has narrowed: There will no longer be a Democratic primary. State Sen.Daniel Biss, D-Evanston, has confirmed he will not run.

You could say the Democratic primary race for comptroller is over before it ever began; only today can candidates begin filing paperwork to run.

Thousands of Illinois families who lost access to state-subsidized child care this summer are once again eligible.

Governor Bruce Rauner rolled back the program drastically in July, which helps low-income working parents afford daycare. Lawmakers were set to reverse the cuts last week, but Rauner agreed to a deal instead.

Senator Toi Hutchinson helped to negotiate with the governor.

There's no budget deal on the immediate horizon in Illinois, which is set to round out a fifth month without any budget in place. However, two frameworks have just been released.

The drafters hope they'll stimulate movement. 

State Sen. Karen McConnaughay, R-St. Charles, says frustration with the gridlock got her talking months ago with a handful of other rank-and-file legislators from both sides of the aisle and from both chambers of the General Assembly. 

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