state budget en Moody's criticizing new state budget <div>The credit rating agency Moody's is criticizing the Illinois state budget passed last week. As IPR's Brian Mackey reports, this is not a surprise to government officials.</div><div><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Moody's says because Illinois did not extend higher income tax rates, it could have to rely on what it calls "credit negative" practices.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Illinois already has the lowest credit rating of any state in the country. Moody's isn't lowering it further, at least not for now.</span></p> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 11:22:28 +0000 Brian Mackey 24364 at Moody's criticizing new state budget Il lawmakers return to Springfield Monday <div>Illinois lawmakers return to Springfield Monday. With just six days remaining before the scheduled summer adjournment, , the state budget remains the top issue. IPR'S Brian Mackey has more.</div><div><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Lawmakers have a difficult choice: slash spending on things like education and health care, or vote to make the current five percent income tax rate permanent. It's scheduled to drop by more than a percentage point at the end of the year.</span></div><p> Mon, 26 May 2014 11:18:19 +0000 Brian Mackey 23892 at Il lawmakers return to Springfield Monday Cross campaigns in Peoria <div>Former House Republican leader Tom Cross says he will be a fiscal watchdog for the state’s finances if he’s elected Illinois Treasurer. Cross made a stop in Peoria Thursday to discuss why he’s running for the office. The Oswego lawmaker left his leadership post to campaign for the spot.</div><div> Thu, 19 Sep 2013 18:14:51 +0000 Denise Molina 12180 at Cross campaigns in Peoria ISBE Chairman says there's still time to fight against cuts to education funding <p></p><div>The chairman of the Illinois State Board of Education says the next two weeks represent a “critical period” for public schools. Two weeks is the amount of time lawmakers have to finish a state budget before they’re scheduled to leave the capitol for the summer. Chairman Gery Chico says while he isn’t sure cuts can be avoided, there’s still time to make a case against them.</div><div> Fri, 17 May 2013 12:05:32 +0000 Denise Molina & Chris Slaby 5752 at