Amanda Vinicky

Illinois Statehouse Bureau Chief

Ways to Connect

Rich Egger

The portion of the gas tax collected in Illinois when you fuel your car is supposed to be forwarded to municipalities. They use it to fill potholes, or to buy salt for when it snows.

Amanda Vinicky

Gov. Bruce Rauner's November election victory landed his party a summer prize Illinois Republicans haven't had in dozen years --- the pride of having Governor's Day at the Illinois State Fair. But Rauner's day of political revelry Wednesday ended with a stinging defeat.

Illinois might not be done with the 2013 law reducing state employees’ pensions. Attorney General Lisa Madigan appears to be preparing an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Rich Egger

As Illinois' budget stalemate continues, the state's top political leaders have been focusing on a relatively small number: $250,000. That's roughly how much Illinois is set to spend this year on pay raises for legislators.

Public domain

Not so long ago, prior to 1999, Illinois considered bobcats a threatened species. Come winter, hunters will be able to harvest the cats.

Rich Egger

Supporters of the Illinois State Museum spent hours Monday fighting for its future. Governor Bruce Rauner has recommended closing the museum and its collections center as well as Dickson Mounds and satellite sites.

Amanda Vinicky

There's no clear path forward on a long-term budget solution for Illinois, and temporary solutions are murky too.

A week into its new fiscal year, Illinois has no new spending plan in place. And it could be awhile before there is one. Illinois isn't alone.

Across the border in Wisconsin, lawmakers can't reach a spending deal. Over on the east coast, North Carolina is in budgetary flux. Pennsylvania's negotiations are dragging on.

Illinois is officially without a state budget -- the deadline to pass one came and went any movement toward a compromise. Lawmakers are poised to vote on a temporary version Wednesday.

Illinois legislators will return to Springfield Tuesday, leaving them one last day to get a budget deal in order. This year's spending plan expires at midnight on June 30. Not only is there no long-term agreement, there's no sign of a provisional one either.

Even if Illinois lawmakers and the governor can't reach a budget deal by Wednesday, state employees have another two weeks before they really need to worry about being paid. That's when their first paychecks of the new fiscal year are set to be issued.  But there's confusion over whether they'll get money after that point, or not.

An email sent by Gov. Rauner takes a reassuring tone.

"State employees will be paid for their work --- and I will do everything within my power to ensure you don’t miss a single payroll," he writes.

But will the money come through?

Illinois begins the fiscal year without a new budget. Governor Bruce Rauner revised his plan. He's now offering Chicago and other municipalities some pension relief.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has vetoed the bulk of a proposed new state budget. Only funding for schools is safe.

Rauner says he had to do it because the plan approved by Democrats is out of balance and, thus, unconstitutional.

But that means Illinois in will have almost no spending authority when the new fiscal year begins next Wednesday, July 1.

Tuesday is "deadline day" for state government.  But one deadline is being given a month-long extension.

June 30th is the final day of the fiscal year; after which, the current budget expires. It's also the final day of the state's contract with its largest public employees union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Illinois schools will be able to open on time this fall, despite an ongoing budget stalemate at the statehouse.

Schools not having the money to operate had been a worry, given Gov. Bruce Rauner's condemnation of the spending plan passed by Democratic legislators.

It isn't anymore.