state government

Illinois 6 Months Late Paying Medicaid Providers

May 19, 2017

Two dozen doctors and health care organizations are taking the state of Illinois to court for not paying Medicaid providers fast enough.  And in a new court filing, the state argues it’s out of money.  A federal judge has ruled Illinois HAS to pay for Medicaid even if there’s no state budget.  

A nonpartisan research group says Illinois’ desperate financial condition is getting even worse.

The Civic Federation of Chicago says unless something is done soon, by next year the state’s pile of unpaid bills could consume half of all new tax revenue.

Flickr Creative Commons/dieselboii

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.  

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. 

As Illinois remains mired in gridlock and nearing two years without a full budget, voters are pinning the blame on state leaders.

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.

Members of Illinois government's biggest labor union have voted to allow a strike.  The margin was 81-19, though roughly 40% of AFSCME members chose not to vote or were not eligible.  Union director Roberta Lynch says her members do not want to strike. She says she hopes Governor Bruce Rauner will resume negotiating.

Chicago's Civic Federation has laid out a map to lead Illinois out of the fiscal abyss.  The non-partisan government research organization says Illinois’ biggest problem is state government’s failure to pass a budget for going on two years.

A group of agencies and businesses that provides services to state government has opened a second front in the legal fight to get Illinois to pay billions in back-due bills. The Pay Now Illinois coalition filed a lawsuit in St. Clair County demanding state officials pay bills dating to July. 

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.

Flickr Creative Commons/Matt Turner

After record-breaking spending on state legislative races… Democrats will retain control of both the Illinois House and Senate.  That’s even after Republicans picked up at least seven seats.  In the Senate, Republicans flipped two seats, including the one long held by Democrat Gary Forby in far southern Illinois.  Senate Democrats, however, will maintain their veto-proof majority.

Governor Bruce Rauner has gotten a lot of traction with his push for term limits. Voters seem to love the idea just as much as legislators hate it, even if the governor's plan doesn't seem all that practical. 

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he's taken steps to improve Illinois during his first year in office, but the job "is nowhere near complete."

IL State Auditor to retire

Jun 17, 2015

Illinois' longtime top auditor has announced he'll retire at the end of December.

Bill Holland is only several years into his third, ten-year term. But the 63-year-old Springfield resident says he's ready to spend more time with his grandchildren. 

The governor and legislature's leaders issued statements commending his expertise, professionalism and fairness.

Holland offered some advice to whomever is chosen to replace him --- respect the position.

And now we continue our look at Bruce Rauner’s first 100 days in office as Illinois governor.  We wanted to better understand the politicians’ playbook when it comes to negotiations.  It comes as leaders in the Statehouse are starting to turn their attention on spending more than 30 billion dollars next year.  IPR’s Tony Arnold takes this look at the politics of negotiating a budget.