WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Michael Madigan

The Illinois General Assembly ended its annual legislative session Wednesday night without agreeing on a state budget.

Top Democrats and Republicans blamed each other, reflecting the main political divide in Springfield that has played out over the two yearlong budget impasse. But this spring's budget failure exposed an additional set of fault lines -- among Democrats.

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

 As Chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois, House Speaker Michael Madigan ran the show for Illinois’ delegation last week at the Democratic National Convention.

Madigan took some time before the convention wrapped up to sit down in Philadelphia with Illinois Public Radio Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky and WBBM radio's Craig Dellimore.

Illinois' budget crisis will continue, unabated. The regular, spring session came to an end Tuesday night, without any resolution to the stalemate that has the state entering its twelfth month without a complete spending plan. There's no plan for next year, either.

Illinois could be heading into a second year without a budget. Lawmakers are beginning their final day of the regularly-scheduled spring session without a deal.

Lawmakers only have two days to pass a budget before a pending deadline. But even as top leaders came out of a meeting Sunday, saying that a deal is possible, it was clear the chances are woefully slim.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has danced around it before. But this time, he didn't flinch.

Rauner says if it gets to his desk, he will reject in its entirety the only spending plan currently alive in the statehouse: a plan House Democrats approved last week.

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' top legislators and the governor met yesterday for the first time this year. There's no indication it led to any resolution of the state's prolonged budget stalemate.

The private meeting lasted roughly an hour.

By the end of next week, Illinois will have gone a full nine months without a budget. And yet, the state's top politicians still aren't talking. The governor and the four legislative leaders went all of June through November without meeting, before finally getting together a couple of times just before the end of 2015. They didn't continue into the new year.


The vitriol and finger-pointing over the gridlock in state government has amplified. University leaders are trying to keep their distance, even as they fight for funding.

Rich Egger

As State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) this week begins his 14th year in the Legislature, the governor and legislative leaders continue to stand their ground in the ongoing budget stalemate.

Brian Mackey / WUIS

As we get ready to welcome 2016, we thought we’d take a few minutes to listen back to what’s been a difficult year in Illinois government and politics. There was an epic fight between Democrats and Republicans in Springfield, disgrace for two Illinois Congressmen, and a reckoning over violence in Chicago.

  Even with all of its fiscal troubles Illinois will have to put nearly $8 billion into its retirement systems next year -- that's a quarter of the state's expected revenue. Legislative leaders and the governor may finally be poised to begin talking about how they may be able to reduce costs.

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.

Illinois is in uncharted territory. It'll soon hit its sixth month without a budget. 

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democrats who dominate the legislature continue to spar about what Illinois' future should look like. Rauner wants to rein in unions; Democrats say that's akin to bolstering business tycoons at the expense of the middle class.

How long can it go on?

Illinois has gone four and a half months without a budget. It's gone even longer -- five and a half months -- since the governor and leaders of the legislature have all gotten together to talk about it; the last time that happened was at the end of May. They're scheduled to finally come together next week, on Wed., Nov. 18 But the meeting's particulars have themselves become a subject of controversy.

Five months into operating without a state budget, Illinois Democrats and Republicans came together Tuesday to pass a budget bill. But it was a relatively minor one; a full agreement is sure to be a ways off.

Amos Doyle

The Illinois state budget was due July 1. Four months later it appears that Governor Rauner and Speaker Madigan are locked in a battle of wills with no end in sight.

Illinois lawmakers' one-day session Tuesday yielded no budget breakthroughs. The state's been without a spending plan for what'll soon reach five months.

Illinois Public Radio

There is a lot of repetition going on at the state capitol these days.  And it has a political purpose.

Brian Mackey

By now, most people probably have a sense that things at the Illinois Statehouse have gotten downright nasty, even if it’s not completely clear what all the fighting is about—or, how it’s playing out behind the scenes.

Brian Mackey

You might think that with the state of Illinois’ finances in flames, the top legislative leaders would be in constant meetings with the governor. You might think they were working around the clock to hammer out a compromise. You might think that, but you would be wrong.

Brian Mackey

Illinois Democrats say they're in an "epic" struggle with the state's new Republican governor. The party met in Springfield Thursday for its annual fundraising breakfast and State Fair rally.

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.

Amanda Vinicky

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

A Cook County judge has ruled Illinois may not continue to pay state workers in full during an ongoing budget impasse. Now the state comptroller says she will appeal the decision.

Judge Diane Joan Larsen ruled Tuesday that Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger may pay only some workers who are covered under a federal law.  The U.S. Fair Labor Standards Act requires essential workers to be paid the federal minimum wage plus overtime in the absence of an annual appropriation.

 

Western Illinois University is reducing certain employees' 12-month contracts to 10 or 11-months, some temporary employees won't be returning this fall, and a few other staff members have been let go. The changes went into effect Wednesday, July 1.

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 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.

Rachel Otwell

Just a few of the budget bills Democrats passed have made it to Governor Bruce Rauner's desk --- where he has the ability to sign them into law, reject them entirely, or cut down the levels of spending.

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