WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Illinois budget

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.

Talks between Illinois' leaders have come to a halt, even as an end-of-year budget deadline approaches. Former Governor Jim Edgar says that's a mistake -- Illinois needs a budget.

Edgar says Illinois economy will suffer for years as a direct result of the stalemate.

"The damage is ... the worst damage I've seen. I mean ever the bad years of Blagojevich and the image he gave of Illinois, I don't think has done anything as much damage as we've seen," he said Monday on the Illinois Public Media show "The 21st."

IGPA

Those who work for Illinois organizations that provide services to survivors of domestic violence say the fact that there's no funding for them in the soon-to-expire state spending plan was an unfortunate surprise.

Rich Egger

The Illinois Board of Higher Education agreed to provide additional financial support to three public universities.  The $20 million comes from the state's stop-gap funding measure.

Rich Egger

Time is winding down on Illinois' stop-gap spending measure, which expires in early January. But many state lawmakers are in campaign mode so nothing is being done to complete a full budget for Illinois.

It's a rare occurrence of late: A credit rating agency saying something positive about Illinois' finances. But the comment published Tuesday by Moody's Investor Service was tempered.

Illinois could end up having to put an additional half billion dollars into one of its pension funds next year.

As the name suggests, the Teachers Retirement System is the retirement benefits fund for all Illinois public school teachers outside of Chicago.

Illinois' partial budget is too little and too late to make up for projected investment losses.

TSPR's Emily Boyer

As state financial support continues to decline for Illinois' public colleges and universities, Western Illinois University wants to bulk up another revenue stream.  But Illinois' budget uncertainty is making it difficult. 

Rich Egger

John Miller, President of the University Professionals of Illinois, Local 4100, said the six month spending plan passed by lawmakers and signed by the governor was poorly done and is not even a true budget. And he said it amounts to another cut for higher education.

Breanna Descourouez

The museum closed to the public October 1 because of the state budget stalemate.  It reopened July 2 and a public celebration was held this past weekend.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-IL, said recent racial killings underscore the need for conversations about race relations and law enforcement, but there are also systemic issues that need more specifically addressed.

During the recent state budget impasse, Illinois colleges and universities have been forced to scrape by without state funding, except for stop gap money designed to keep them open through the fall semester. But that may not satisfy accreditation agencies. James Applegate, director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education, says the Higher Learning Commission may just home in on the fact that Illinois schools are missing what schools in other states have: a solid budget.

TSPR

Some employees at Western Illinois University are raising money that could help their co-workers who were laid off or furloughed afford higher education.

Illinois legislators haven’t been paid in months, but that’s about to change.

Rich Egger

Western Illinois University will receive $31.4 million from the state's stop-gap funding measure, plus about $5.1 million to reimburse the university for the Monetary Award Program (MAP) funding it loaned to students for the spring semester.  But that still falls far short of what the university might normally expect from the state.

The unprecedented Illinois budget impasse has ended ... for now. Lawmakers passed and the governor signed a partial budget Thursday, the final day of fiscal year 2016. But it's only a temporary patch.

The stalemate went longer than many expected.  

Illinois lawmakers are on the verge of passing a state budget, though only a partial one. Thursday is the final day of the 2016 fiscal year.

The plan is for lawmakers to vote on an agreement the governor and the General Assembly's leaders apparently worked out in hours of private meetings yesterday. 

Democratic leaders in the legislature and Gov. Bruce Rauner appear to be close to a deal to approve some funding for social service providers, higher education, capital construction and state operations. The proposal would also fund K-12 schools for all of next fiscal year.

But the plan can’t erase the destruction caused by the state going for a year without a budget.​​

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