Illinois state budget

Ongoing budget talks at the Illinois Statehouse have shown no real sign of progress. This week, Senate Democrats pressed Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration this week to explain its proposal to shift pension costs to local school districts.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is attacking the state comptroller over a new report her office released this week.

That report from Democrat Susana Mendoza shows the state accrued $1-point-1 billion dollars in late interest penalties during the two-year-long budget impasse. Her office says that’s more than the state accumulated over the past 18 years.

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner criticized Mendoza, saying she voted for bills that helped create the state’s deficit when she was in the House of Representatives.

As the state works toward a budget for the next year, some lawmakers say they need a target for how much money is available.

One idea is if the state had a revenue estimate in place, drafting a balanced budget would be an easier process. Without one, budget negotiators say they are in the dark when it comes to how much is available to spend.

Governor Bruce Rauner delivers his annual State of the State address this week. Political watchers expect it to focus on issues critical to this year's elections.

Political analyst and Illinois Lawmakers host Jak Tichenor says in an election year, leaders in Springfield try to play it safe – they don't want to upset their base or any potential swing voters. He expects this year's State of the State address to follow that trend.

The Illinois General Assembly is once again ending its annual legislative session without passing a budget.
Although Senate Democrats this month passed both a budget bill and a variety of tax hikes to pay for it, House Democrats cannot agree on what to do.
Try to meet Governor Bruce Rauner’s demands, as the Senate tried and failed to do with the so-called grand bargain? Or go it alone, as the Senate ended up doing.
House Speaker Michael Madigan says his fellow Democrats are concerned about how they saw Rauner working with the Senate.

Reg Natarajan / Flickr

Governor Bruce Rauner is broadening the role of private companies in Illinois’ Medicaid program. But Democrats say he’s using the state’s lack of a budget to avoid transparency. Medicaid is one of the largest pieces of the state’s budget, and Democrats say the governor is trying to significantly alter the way the program is managed.


Senator Martin Sandoval, from Chicago, says Rauner is also bypassing normal review channels.

A new poll says Illinois voters are divided on what to do about the state’s financial problems.

The poll puts Illinois' deficit at $10 billion, and gives voters three choices for how to fix it: raise taxes, cut "waste and inefficiency," or both.

Cuts were the most popular answer at 45 percent. Just 11 percent favored only raising taxes; about a third said do both.

Paradoxically, when you ask voters about specific areas to cut, most are rejected. Support was strongest for spending on education, poor people, and individuals with disabilities.

University of Essex / Flickr

As part of his budget address, Governor Bruce Rauner called for a 10% funding increase to MAP Grants yesterday.  

Preview: 2017 State Budget Address

Feb 15, 2017
Rachel Otwell / WUIS

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is scheduled to make his annual budget request to the General Assembly at noon today. It’ll be his third — delivered in Illinois government's 20th month without a complete budget. Democrats have been saying Rauner has never proposed a balanced budget — shirking his constitutional and statutory duty. Rauner rejects that critique. We asked Illinois Public Radio Statehouse Reporter Brian Mackey to assess their claims.

REMINDER: WCBU will carry Governor Rauner’s budget speech live today, Tune in at noon on 89.9 FM or stream us online. 

Durkin Blames Democrats for State Budget Impasse

Dec 15, 2016

The top House Republican in the Illinois legislature says the tone in Springfield is deteriorating - and has been since the election.

Jim Durkin is House Republican Leader. He thinks it’s because Democrats are upset Illinois Republicans picked up seats this year.

"For many years, Republicans have been pushed around. We’ve been defeated, outspent - grossly outspent - for many, many years. Republicans gave them, them - the Democrats, a taste of their own medicine last November and I think that they’re still reeling over it."

After calling for daily meetings with Illinois' top leaders, Governor Bruce Rauner called off one that had been scheduled for today. In a statement, his office said Democrats were unprepared for the next steps in budget talks.

Today the Republican took that message to voters, with a video on social media.

Prospects For Budget Deal Still Dim

Dec 2, 2016

Illinois residents are once again facing the prospect of having their elected leaders not agree on a state budget. Illinois Public Radio's Tony Arnold reports.

After a full year without a budget - it looks like the state is heading in that direction again.


Governor Bruce Rauner is demanding term limits and a property tax freeze BEFORE a budget.


Social Service Agencies Sue State to Pay-up

Aug 19, 2016

Social service agencies owed money from the State of Illinois say the government should pay them like it’s paying for other services - by going further into debt.  Attorneys for the Illinois government say it doesn’t have to fully pay social services for work completed during the 12 months when there was no state budget.

Peoria Public Radio

Up until last week, Illinois was the only state in the nation that did not have a budget. Now, there’s a partial spending plan in place to help cash-strapped social service agencies and public colleges. It's also good news for the state’s reputation.

Republican Congressman Darin LaHood of Illinois says it’s a relief to have people in Washington D.C. stop asking about the impasse.

Senate Democrats plan to put forward an education funding plan that increases money for public schools this fall by $750 million.  The plan would pump $286 million more into Chicago Public Schools. 

  A potential new state budget barely passed the Illinois House last night,  but Gov. Bruce Rauner is already signaling a veto.

The Republican says the budget spends $7 billion more than the state takes in.

Illinois residents needing to see a therapist are waiting an average of three months in Macomb, a small city in Central Illinois. 

That's according to Kenny Boyd, president of the McDonough District Hospital in Macomb. He says his hospital has seen a 70 percent increase in patients seeking mental health treatment in the area because -- thanks to the state budget stalemate -- another provider closed one of its locations. 

Higher education in Illinois has been caught in a continuing battle over the budget. 

University officials are urging Illinois lawmakers to pass a state budget, saying nearly a year without state support has led to layoffs, students struggling to pay tuition without grants and high schoolers considering going elsewhere for a degree. 

Low-income college students promised state help paying for tuition will continue to go without it. Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has followed through on his pledge to reject funding for the Monetary Award Program.

Gov. Rauner vetoed Democratic-backed legislation to pay for so-called "MAP grants" Friday afternoon. Students had traveled to Springfield in recent days to rally in support of the plan.

Faculty and others plan to rally at Eastern Illinois University as the school prepares to lay off about 200 employees as part of a plan to get through the state's budget stalemate.

Bruce Rauner takes pride in not being like any of Illinois' previous governors.  A multimillionaire in his first public office, the former businessman stops at bars in the state capital and orders a lowbrow Stag beer. It's not unusual for him to be the worst-dressed man in a room.  

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Illinois state Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth gathered local human service providers and state contractors together Wed. in a plea to the governor and lawmakers to pass a sustainable budget.

The Peoria Democrat says it should be the focus of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s upcoming State of the State address.

“The state of the state is we need a budget, and we need a budget now,” Gordon-Booth said. 

The rally cry comes exactly a week ahead of the governor's annual speech. 

A southern Illinois county is the latest local government to sue the state over unpaid bills amid a budget impasse.

After the Mississippi River flooded four years ago, more than 100 Illinois families agreed to sell their homes to the government for demolition so they could move to higher ground.

A public spat between Gov. Bruce Rauner and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel over the state budget impasse, city finances and labor unions has hit a new level. 

University of Illinois leaders say cuts announced last week in administration spending aren't the only places where the state budget uncertainty is having an effect.

Financial trouble in Illinois' biggest city has many worried about Chicago's potential ripple effects on the state with money problems of its own. But Governor Bruce Rauner sees an opportunity in Chicago's fiscal mess.

Governor Bruce Rauner is continuing his public campaign for pro-business, union-weakening measures before compromising on a state budget.  Illinois has gone four-and-a-half months operating without a budget, but still spending at 90% of last year's levels, despite a steep drop-off in revenues. 

Public universities at a loss over lack of funding

Oct 14, 2015

Some officials at public universities in Illinois are at least floating the idea of taking legal action against the governor and the Illinois legislature over the absence of a state budget.