WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Budget

Buying shoes, a new computer or even toilet paper online can be convenient and cheap, but officials in cities across central Illinois say it’s taking a bite out of their budgets.

Rich Egger

The city of Macomb will spend more money than it brings in its new budget year that began Monday, May 1. City revenues are down and some expenses associated with employee health care and retirement are up. Overall the city’s general fund will be unbalanced by about $538,000 this fiscal year.

TSPR's Emily Boyer

Macomb is flushing out its financial plans for the next fiscal year, which starts May 1. The city appears to be in good shape financially.

Illinois House Fails To Override Veto Of MAP Funding

Mar 3, 2016

The Illinois House has failed to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of funding for college grants and two-year schools. 

The House debated restoring hundreds of millions of dollars in college funding for two hours Wednesday afternoon. But overcoming Republican Rauner's rejection of the spending required 71 votes. It failed 69-48. 

The legislation involved $397 million for the income-based Monetary Award Program and $324 million for community colleges. 

Gov. Bruce Rauner is scheduled to deliver his budget message to the Illinois General Assembly this Wednesday. In advance of that, interest groups are lining up to plead their case for state funding. On Monday, representatives of the state’s colleges and universities made one such pitch.

Illinois residents will hear from their Governor Wednesday when Bruce Rauner gives his annual state of the state address. It comes at a difficult time in Illinois government: For nearly eight months there has been no budget.

Social service agencies that depend on state funding are closing programs, the backlog of unpaid bills is piling up, and some public universities are moving forward with layoffs.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is marking his one-year anniversary in office. 

Rauner campaigned on a promise to shake-up Springfield. And on that account, at least, he has succeeded.

Illinois' in the midst of a historic budget impasse -- with no signs of coming to an end.

Critics, including Democratic Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie, lay the blame on the governor.

Springfield Wants State To Pay Utility Bill

Jan 13, 2016

The city of Springfield is pushing for the state of Illinois to pay its electric bill.

Gov. Bruce Rauner spoke in public Wednesday for the first time since Tuesday's big summit with legislative leaders.

With Illinois in its sixth month without a budget, the state's top political leaders met Tuesday in Springfield. It was the first time they'd all gotten together in months. We asked Brian Mackey to tell us whether anything was accomplished.

The race for Illinois comptroller has narrowed: There will no longer be a Democratic primary. State Sen.Daniel Biss, D-Evanston, has confirmed he will not run.

You could say the Democratic primary race for comptroller is over before it ever began; only today can candidates begin filing paperwork to run.

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.

The Illinois General Assembly doesn't typically meet during the summer. But legislators are back for another one-day session today.

TSPR's Rich Egger

Funding for higher education fell slightly along with the drop in Illinois’ income tax rate at the beginning of the year.

TSPR's Emily Boyer

Western Illinois University is still waiting for a sizeable check, to the tune of $6.5-million, from the state of Illinois.

401(K)2012 / Flickr Creative Commons

Western Illinois University has a preliminary spending plan in place for next year.

The salaries for Lee County’s elected leaders could increase on July 1, 2014.

Knox County Works on Draft Budget

Oct 10, 2013
http://www.knoxcountyil.com/

The Knox County Board is getting ready to issue its draft budget for the next fiscal year.

Keokuk’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year is on its way to the state.

Lee County’s proposed budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2013 offers mixed messages when it comes to the county’s financial outlook.

Burlington Addressing Finances

Nov 9, 2012

Burlington is taking steps to get its financial house in order.

Administrators within the Keokuk School District spent more time in the classrooms, last year, as part of a program aimed at observing teacher and student performance.

The 2011/2012 school year marked the second year for the eWalks program.

Business Manager Greg Reynolds says the program requires administrators to conduct brief, unannounced visits into classrooms throughout the district.

Carthage Budget Might Require Cuts

Apr 17, 2012

Carthage Mayor Jim Nightingale said budget projections for the general fund next fiscal year are lower than he would like.

He said, “That's something that we will have to address and present to the council. I think there's some items we're going to have to reduce the expenditures.”

Nightingale likes to see between $250,000 and $300,000 in the general fund. The projections are closer to $260,000.

He said the overall budget will be $1.2 million.

The Burlington School District is going back to the drawing board when it comes to reshaping school boundaries. 

Superintendent Jane Evans says the district’s elementary enrollment is out of balance.  She says, for example, North Hill has too many students while Blackhawk is running well below capacity.

The district estimates that 14% of its elementary school students do not attend their neighborhood school.  In response, it identified a neighborhood where students could change schools to help balance out the enrollment figures.

Superintendent John Henriksen says the Central Lee School District’s budget for the 2012/2013 school year is quite comparable to the district’s current budget.

The school board certified the roughly $14-million dollar spending plan Monday night. 

Henriksen says the spending plan is just a couple hundred thousand dollars larger than the current budget.  He says the budget’s general fund sits at around $10-million, though he believes the final expenditures will come in at around $9-million.

The Keokuk School Board has signed off on the district’s roughly $32-million spending plan for the upcoming school year.

One of the highlights is the fact that the property tax rate will drop by 73-cents, or nearly 4%.  The district’s share of property tax bills are not expected to fall by 4%, though, because of the residential rollback.

The budget also includes an expansion of Keokuk’s preschool program for 4-year-olds.  The addition of a second classroom will allow an increase in enrollment from 30 to as many as 80 preschoolers starting in the fall.

The West Burlington School District has agreed to sell its former middle school to the city for just $1.

Superintendent Dave Schmitt says this is the best option for the entire community.

“We could have gotten $5,000-$10,000 for the building,” says Schmitt, “but then there could have been that risk that it become dilapidated or an eyesore for our community.”

The city plans to tear down the former school at 211 Ramsey Street so several new homes can be built, one of which would be targeted to low-income families.

Keokuk’s budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2012 attempts to get the city back on track when it comes to equipment and infrastructure.

The city council has approved the roughly $29-million spending plan after working on it for several months and holding multiple Saturday workshops.

The numbers show that most departmental budgets will be at or just slightly above their level in the current city budget.

Mayor Tom Marion says holding down spending was one goal for the new budget.

The Keokuk School Board must make some serious cuts to next year’s budget.

Superintendent Lora Wolff says the district will actually lose roughly $550,000 in state aid because of its declining enrollment.

She says dwindling revenues and increasing expenditures mean balancing the spending plan for the 2012/2013 school year will require a reduction of $1.3-million.

The district plans to use cash reserves and unspent balances to cover nearly $600,000.

The rest of the shortfall ($700,000) will have to come from budget modifications.

Fort Madison residents can weigh in on the city’s spending plan next week.

A public hearing and the initial city council vote on the $25-million spending plan are scheduled for Tuesday, February 21.

City Manager Byron Smith says the budget could be considered status quo.

“I would not say bare-bone, but it is kind of basic for what we are doing,” says Smith.  “We did not propose any major staffing increases or decreases.”

Smith says money is available for employee raises and to expand nuisance enforcement.

Pages