no budget

Illinois Billions of Dollars Deeper in Debt

May 31, 2017

Two years with no budget have left the state of Illinois billions of dollars deeper in debt than when the budget impasse started. The state comptroller’s office says that when the fiscal year ends, the state’s stack of unpaid bills will be $11.6 billion higher. 

Former Governor Says Lack Of Budget Hurts Illinois

May 18, 2017

An exchange between a former Illinois governor and a current state representative highlighted political divides at last night’s forum on the state budget.  Four Republican state representatives were among about 75 people in attendance at the Illinois Issues budget forum in Champaign.

Politicians Disagree On What Makes A Healthy Economy

May 16, 2017

With just two weeks remaining in the spring legislative session, Illinois politicians appear to be positioning themselves to blame each other for the failure to pass a budget. Illinois has gone nearly two years without a real budget because Gov. Bruce Rauner refused to negotiate one until Democrats also took up his political and economic agenda.

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.

The state treasurer says not enough people realize Illinois’ credit could soon be rated “junk.” That’s if lawmakers and the governor don’t agree on a budget by the end of this month.  Treasurer Mike Frerichs has mostly avoided the political fight surrounding the state’s budget crisis. But he says if former Republican Governor Jim Edgar can criticize the current governor, piling on isn’t political.

Facebook/Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University officials say cuts and deferred maintenance will be necessary to save money as the school faces a $35 million funding gap from the lack of a state budget.  University President Doug Baker says the school must prepare for a worst-case scenario until the next fiscal year.

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.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan met briefly to discuss what has been a two-year budget stalemate.  Madigan noted after the meeting that there's a growing cry from school superintendents, human services providers and credit-rating houses to adopt a full year state budget. 

Tamie Yost

Illinois lawmakers returned to Springfield today as state government is closing on 22 months without a budget, and prospects for an overall deal look grim.  Governor Bruce Rauner has been saying he’s heard there's good progress on an overall budget deal.  But Democrats in the Senate say they don’t know what the Republican governor is talking about. Legislators have been on a two week recess, and say no high-level meetings have been taking place.

State Employees, Retirees to Rauner: Do Your Job

Apr 17, 2017

Around 50 protestors gathered in downtown Moline Monday afternoon to protest what they see as Bruce Rauner's failure to pass a budget.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration contends Attorney General Lisa Madigan's attempt to stop state employee paychecks amid the budget crisis is ill-timed and ill-conceived.  The Republican governor's lawyers filed a brief with an appellate court arguing that Democrat Madigan should have acted sooner.

Illinois has entered its 22nd month without a real budget.  Among the state services most affected by the political fight are those that help victims of domestic violence.  Illinois doesn’t spend a lot of money fighting domestic violence, it’s way less than a tenth of a percent of the state budget. But since last summer, it’s spent nothing.

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. 

Lawmakers Relieved to Know They Will Get Paychecks

Mar 24, 2017

Some Illinois lawmakers who had their paychecks delayed by 9 months are expressing relief they’ll finally get their salaries.  There was a popular slogan during last year’s campaign for Comptroller.  No budget, no pay.

A central Illinois center for addiction treatment will stay open for now, despite payment delays during the state’s ongoing budget crisis. After two years without a permanent budget, the state is facing a backlog of $12.6 billion in unpaid bills to state employees, contractors and agencies.

Dr. Ronald Lynch runs a family dentistry in Jacksonville. He says approximately 20 percent of his patients are state workers. Because Illinois is still running with no budget, the state has not been paying its employees’ health bills on time — and the delays are growing.

Facebook/Northeastern Illinois University

Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago announced that its employees will have to take five furlough days.  It will also have to kick hundreds of students out of their on-campus jobs.  For two months now - universities across Illinois haven’t received any money from the state government because there’s no budget.

A St. Clair County judge has denied Attorney General Lisa Madigan's motion to halt state employee pay in the absence of a complete state budget. Illinois has gone nearly 20 months without the governor and General Assembly coming together to create a full, balanced spending plan. It means state employees will continue to be paid as legislators and the governor continue their fight over how to pay for Illinois government.

Illinois officials waited more than five months to alert dozens of domestic violence programs that their funding had been eliminated, an omission that forced layoffs and other cuts.  Officials providing services to victims of domestic violence say they were unaware that about $9 million in state funding was left out of the stopgap plan that expired in December. 

Politicians of all parties often sidestep awkward questions.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner followed that tradition during a stop at Heartland Community College in Normal on Wednesday.

Paul Coussens

After 19 months without a state budget, Illinois senators today were not yet ready to move forward on a compromise plan intended to end the impasse.  Democrats and Republicans spent hours behind closed doors, arguing about whether the deal negotiated by their leaders was good enough to end Illinois’ unprecedented budget fight.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is asking a judge to tell state employees: No budget, no paycheck.

Southern Illinois University is cutting its men's and women's tennis programs and reducing scholarships for the men's swimming and diving teams.  The reductions come as SIU faces declining enrollment and the state remains without a budget. School officials say the move will save about $660,000 annually starting next school year. 

Paul Coussens

Illinois hasn't had a true state budget for a year and five months. Even so, there's some talk of trying to work ahead on a spending plan for the future. Anyone even remotely connected to state government will tell you one of the most difficult parts of going without a budget for so long is that it's created tremendous uncertainty.

Susana Mendoza has been sworn in as Illinois comptroller. The Democrat will serve the final two years of Republican Judy Baar Topinka's term. Topinka was re-elected in 2014 but died suddenly.  Mendoza beat appointed comptroller Leslie Munger in a special election last month.

 The United Way of Illinois surveyed social services providers in the state and found that during the budget impasse, about  1 million of their clients have lost services due to lack of funding. 

The flow of cash to local 911 centers and some state health services will stop this week if Illinois enters another year without a budget.  Not approving a spending plan by Friday's start of a new fiscal year also sets in motion other dire scenarios: Schools won't know whether they'll stay open through the year, and vendors that have provided services without payments could file lawsuits to get paid.

A week from today,  July 1, marks a shameful anniversary for Illinois.   It will mean the state has gone a full year without a complete budget.  But how long can this go on?     

Flickr Creative Commons/Daniel X. O'Neil

The Illinois Legislature plans to reconvene next week as the state approaches a second year without a budget. Senate President John Cullerton says they should return to Springfield on Wednesday. The House also is expected to be in session. 

Illinois is just two weeks away from going an entire year without a budget.  Lawmakers also haven't passed one for next year. Both have been caught in a political fight - with Governor Bruce Rauner holding out on a tax hike until Democrats get on board with his controversial agenda.  

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