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Illinois budget

Rich Egger

Members of the Western Illinois University Board of Trustees said President Jack Thomas has done "an admirable job" of steering the university through difficult times brought on by the unprecedented state budget impasse. 

Brian Mackey (file photo)

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner called lawmakers back to Springfield for the rest of the month for special sessions focused on the state budget.  The sessions begin Wednesday, and the Republican governor delivered a brief address on the eve of the legislature's return:

Rich Egger

State spending on public higher education in Illinois has dropped precipitously during the past two years as the state has operated without a budget.  But the president of Western Illinois University said the school will not allow itself to be bogged down by the budget stalemate.

Brian Mackey

A case with the potential to upend Illinois' budget impasse was argued Tuesday before the Fifth District Appellate Court in Mount Vernon.

Two court hearings this week could shape the future of Illinois’ budget impasse.

Illinois government has been deadlocked on a state budget for 23 months. During that time, the once-perfunctory job of comptroller has gained in power and prominence.

 

 

The Illinois Senate passed a budget package Tuesday after a similar plan failed last week. The difference was several new “yes” votes from liberal Democrats. No Republicans supported either plan.

Two school funding plans progressed in the Illinois legislature Wednesday. A plan sponsored by Sen. Andy Manar was approved in the Senate, while in the House, a very similar plan sponsored by Rep. Will Davis made it through committee. Does that mean lawmakers may have finally found a way to cure the state's infamously unfair school funding structure?

Illinois Senate Democrats on Wednesday passed part of a budget plan for state government.

If it also passes the House and is signed into law, it would be the first real budget Illinois has had since 20-15. But that’s a big “if.”

Rich Egger

Higher education has been among the areas feeling the pain from the state budget impasse in Illinois as funding has been cut.  It has forced some schools to reduce classes, lay off employees, and, in some cases, close for several days. 

 

Comptroller Susana Mendoza says she’s not sure when school districts will receive state money owed to them for the rest of this school year. Mendoza’s office is in charge of paying the state’s bills.

There was another setback Wednesday for efforts to end Illinois' budget stalemate.

Senate Democrats attempted a series of test votes on items in the so-called “grand bargain.” But Republicans refused to go along, saying more negotiation is needed to reach a deal they can support.

Illinois Senate Democrats are hoping to win bipartisan support for a partial government spending plan.

The proposal would release more than $800 million that’s been collected in special state accounts for higher education and human services, areas that have been particularly squeezed during the 22-month budget stalemate.

College professors across Illinois will step away from their classrooms to rally in Springfield on Thursday, April 27. The event called Teach Out for Illinois Higher Education is in response to the state budget stalemate.

siu.edu

The Southern Illinois University Board of Trustees last week pushed off a major financial decision.

Rich Egger

A Western Illinois University administrator said the school has enough money to make it through the Spring semester. But he's not saying much about the contingency plan WIU is developing in case the ongoing shortfall of state funding continues.

Illinois' budget impasse has prompted another "doomsday scenario" at Southern Illinois University – which could be voted on as early as next week.

Rich Egger

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner's budget proposal this year recommends funding higher education at 85% of what the state provided in fiscal year 2015.  State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) said that's not enough.

Ten Republican senators voted for at least one bill in the grand bargain. We asked all of them about Gov. Bruce Rauner's role in stopping them from going further.

Rich Egger

Western Illinois University is continuing to urge state lawmakers to approve a new state budget that adequately funds higher education.

The Illinois Senate’s so-called grand bargain was put on hold Wednesday. After months of negotiations and a deadline from their own caucus leader, Senate Republicans say they aren't quite ready to vote.

Democrats blame the last-minute withdrawal on interference by Gov. Bruce Rauner. 

The Illinois Senate made progress Tuesday on its so-called grand bargain.

Emily Boyer/Tri States Public Radio

During a trip to Macomb, U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) called out her home state and the federal government for not making college more affordable.

TSPR

There are 9,469 students enrolled at Western Illinois University this spring semester. It's the first time this century Western's student body has dropped below 10,000.

Illinois Information Service

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner struck an upbeat tone in his third State of the State address Wednesday.  He also tried to project an image of someone willing to compromise -- but in such a way that Democrats say he glossed over his own role in the crisis that's hobbling Illinois government.

Rich Egger

State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) smiled broadly as he strode into the Tri States Public Radio studios for an interview on Friday, January 6. He's clearly at ease with his decision to step down from the Legislature after 14 years.

Public Domain

With the dysfunction in Illinois politics, state government this year is projected to spend as much as $13 billion more than it will collect in taxes. And the situation could be getting worse.

Rich Egger

The state of Illinois has gone 18 months without a budget.  And the stop gap spending plan is about to expire with no new deal in sight.

There’s still no budget for Illinois, but some big changes to education policy kicked in this year. As the contentious presidential election played out, several national issues affected the lives of citizens here.

Governor Bruce Rauner's administration is accusing Illinois' biggest government union of an unfair labor practice.

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