Illinois is closing out its fiscal year still owing U of I $182 million. While public universities got flat funding for this new fiscal year, future state funding's a big unknown. And legislators are still debating what to do about public workers' pensions.
In the face of it all, U of I is giving employees raises for the second year in a row. U of I spokesman Tom Hardy says it'll cost about $30 million which the school can afford after several years in which workers got none, or even saw their pay cut.
"We've done a lot of belt tightening, done administrative review and restructuring program where we've able to identify savings."
Hardy says the raises will average out to 2.75 percent. They're merit based, so there's room to give workers more or less.