WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Illinois budget

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. 

Bill Gaither/Carl Sandburg College

Carl Sandburg College President Lori Sundberg told members of the Illinois House that the state budget impasse is hurting the western Illinois college and its students.

Illinois' Governor and the four legislative leaders won't meet in Springfield this week after all; the gathering has been postponed until next month.

Five months into operating without a state budget, Illinois Democrats and Republicans came together Tuesday to pass a budget bill. But it was a relatively minor one; a full agreement is sure to be a ways off.

Rich Egger

The University Professionals of Illinois (UPI) chapter at Western Illinois University is speaking out against a possible budget reduction proposal that recommends a "desired" student to faculty ratio of 17:1 for Western.

T.J. Carson

A veteran of the Illinois Army National Guard is making a run for the State Legislature as a Republican.

Rich Egger

State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) announced she will run for another term in the Illinois House, while former Representative Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) said she will run for the Illinois Senate.

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.

Amos Doyle

The Illinois state budget was due July 1. Four months later it appears that Governor Rauner and Speaker Madigan are locked in a battle of wills with no end in sight.

News Analysis — On September 18, 2012, the year before Bruce Rauner declared his candidacy for governor, he shared his vision for a crisis that could help reshape state government.

Lisa Ryan

The Illinois State Museum is in danger of losing is accreditation, and Governor Bruce Rauner's administration said there is no way to know whether the museum will ever reopen.

Illinois lawmakers' one-day session Tuesday yielded no budget breakthroughs. The state's been without a spending plan for what'll soon reach five months.

Members of the Illinois House and Senate will be in Springfield again Tuesday, but there's still no budget deal for them to vote on.

Community. Service.

Oct 14, 2015
Rich Egger

On Saturday, October 3rd I attended the WIU Homecoming parade. It was a beautiful day for a parade: sunny, the air crisp, the trees around us on the verge of exploding in autumnal color. I watched high school marching bands, politicians and hair stylists, dance troupes and college floats pass by. 

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