Budget Impasse

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Senate's "grand bargain" budget compromise comes down to three pieces of legislation.  

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Higher education has been among the areas feeling the state budget impasse as funding has been cut.  It has forced some schools to reduce classes, lay off employees and, in some cases, close for several days. 

But a review of enrollment indicates small and mid-sized public universities are taking a double hit.   

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As Illinois’ record budget impasse nears the 2-year mark, the morale at non-profits across the state continues to decline. 

Rauner, Cullerton Point Blame for Budget Impasse

May 12, 2017

Illinois’ top political leaders continue to blame each other for the nearly two-year-long budget impasse.  Democratic Senate President John Cullerton held a press conference this week after Republicans wouldn’t take a vote to end the budget stalemate.  Cullerton said Governor Bruce Rauner doesn’t understand what it takes to pass a bill.

Governor Booed At Chicago State University

May 11, 2017
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The financially struggling Chicago State University celebrated commencement today at its campus on the South Side.  But the crowd did not celebrate the presence of Governor Bruce Rauner.   

Some Illinois school districts are revamping their summer school programs this year with virtual programs designed to allow students to complete lessons outside of the classroom.  But some education experts worry that online learning programs aren't the best approach for younger students. 

Sixty one social service agencies suing the State of Illinois over the budget impasse got their day in court today.  Providers of addiction treatment and rape counseling sued the state for payment.  A Cook County judge ruled they don’t have to be paid if there is no budget.  So those groups appealed.

More than two dozen health care providers and insurance companies are telling a federal judge in Chicago they may have to stop serving some poor patients. That’s because the State of Illinois is so late in paying Medicaid bills due to the budget impasse. Twenty-five health care organizations are asking a federal judge to make the state government reimburse them faster for seeing Medicaid patients. They say if the judge doesn’t agree, then doctors may stop seeing Medicaid patients altogether.

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The state budget impasse has left Illinois months behind in payment to downstate mass transit agencies. That’s led to cuts in service from Kankakee to Jacksonville.  The agencies are funded in part by local sales tax collections. But that money has to pass through state government. Even after another $19.3 million dollars was released today, the Illinois comptroller’s office says the state still owes transit agencies $70 million dollars.  

The University of Illinois Flash Index measured the state’s economy for April at 104.3, down a tenth of a point from March.  Any number above 100 on the Index represents a growing economy.  Economist Fred Giertz, who compiles the Flash Index, says the last several months of slow growth in the state’s economy are a result of both negatives like the ongoing state budget impasse, and positives like a declining unemployment rate.

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois lawmakers are returning to the Capitol this week to resume work on trying to end the budget stalemate that has eluded them for almost two years.

Clean Energy Deal On Uncertain Footing

Apr 24, 2017
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Some derided last year’s sweeping energy law as a bailout for power giant Exelon. But it was also a major win for environmentalists — who are now hedging their bets against Illinois’ budget problems.

Rauner Talks to QC Chamber

Apr 17, 2017

Met by protestors outside and members of the business community inside, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner came to the Quad Cities Monday for the second time in a week.

Minimum Wage an Issue in Governor’s Race

Apr 14, 2017

Raising Illinois’ minimum wage is shaping up to be another issue in the governor’s race.  The state’s current minimum wage is $8.25 an hour.  Incumbent Republican Bruce Rauner says he is in favor of a higher minimum wage on the condition that other pro-business items are also approved.

Rauner Blames Grand Bargain Failure on Democrats

Apr 14, 2017

Governor Bruce Rauner is now accusing Illinois House Democrats of killing a deal to end the budget impasse. When the so-called grand bargain failed last month - Senate Democrats said it was because Rauner had pulled Republican votes away from the compromise. 

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Northeastern Illinois University is planning to cancel three days of classes in order to cut costs as public universities in Illinois struggle to make ends meet during the state's budget stalemate.  The Chicago-based university will no longer hold classes April 11, 12 and May 1.

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Democratic speaker of the Illinois House is upbraiding Gov. Bruce Rauner for comments the governor made about him. 

Ill. Lawmaker Who Drove for Uber Finally Gets Paid

Mar 27, 2017

One Illinois state lawmaker who resorted to driving an Uber to make ends meet is relieved he’ll start getting his state paycheck on time.

Illinois lawmakers are working on legislation intended to help youth programs struggling under the state budget impasse.  Youth services do things like help kids avoid time in jail; one helps school kids after a classmate is murdered. 

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A Cook County judge ruled Illinois’ comptroller cannot delay paying the salaries of state lawmakers during the budget impasse.  

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The airing of grievances over the ongoing state budget impasse continued today between Governor Bruce Rauner and Comptroller Susana Mendoza.   As comptroller, Mendoza signs the checks connected to the state’s bank accounts.

The Illinois Supreme Court won't immediately consider Attorney General Lisa Madigan's appeal of a circuit court ruling that state workers must be paid during the state budget impasse.  Justices denied Madigan's request to bypass the appellate court and take the matter directly to the Supreme Court.

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A group of Illinois contractors is accusing Gov. Bruce Rauner of violating the state Constitution.

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Ill. (AP) - Governors State University has announced it will eliminate 22 academic programs and hike tuition to cope with a lack of funding due to Illinois' budget stalemate.

Members of the Illinois Senate return to Springfield  tomorrow. They’re once again expected to vote on a deal meant to end Illinois’ budget stalemate.  The top Republican and Democrat in the Senate have been working on this compromise since December.

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State lawmakers are reacting to a recent news story that 260 students at Northeastern Illinois University may be kicked out of their campus jobs because of the budget impasse.   Northeastern is looking to furlough some of its employees to save money because it’s not getting anything from the state without a budget. 

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A southwest Illinois school official says he plans to seek the Democratic nomination for governor in 2018. Robert Daiber is the Madison County regional superintendent of schools.  He says the state faces a real financial crisis, including the ongoing budget impasse, and the governor's chief responsibility is to submit a spending plan. He says his candidacy will focus on compromising collaboration.

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Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is asking lawmakers to help bring in money by allowing advertising on vehicle registration reminders that are mailed out to millions of homes each year.

Illinois lawmakers are preparing legislation to ensure that state employees continue receiving paychecks if a judge agrees with the attorney general's argument that their pay should be halted during the budget impasse.

U of I Reviewing State Paycheck Halt

Jan 27, 2017

A court filing by Illinois’ Attorney General seeks to halt state worker paychecks by the end of February, and not let them resume until there’s agreement on a state budget. But it’s not yet clear if Thursday’s action would extend to University of Illinois employees.  

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