WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Illinois Issues

WATCH-LISTEN: State Budget Forum - Macomb

Aug 30, 2017

NPR Illinois and Tri States Public Radio host the seventh Illinois Issues Forum on the state's financial health and the lasting impacts of the two-year-long state budget impasse.

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.

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.​​

flickr/ Bill Brooks

Bipartisan working groups are currently trying to find a way out of the budget impasse. But the crisis could have been prevented long before the battle between Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic leaders began.

Illinois is one of only eight states with a flat income tax. The reasons can be traced to the state’s first-ever successful attempt at putting an income tax in place.  

An effort to change the current tax structure is underway, but supporters face a fast-approaching deadline.  

Illinois has more than $100 billion in pension debt. So far, attempts to fix it have been mostly illegal.

Should criminals bear the cost of their own rehabilitation?

Top Judge in Illinois Stepping Down

Oct 25, 2013
Rich Egger

The Illinois court system will get a new leader next week.