Illinois budget

Carter Staley / NPR Illinois

While debating, candidates offered no concrete suggestions for addressing fiscal problems but possibilities exist.

In today's fevered political climate, is it possible to have a serious discussion about possible ways to address the fiscal problems Illinois faces?

Not very likely, if one judges by the first debate among incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and his three challengers, Democrat J.B. Pritzker, Conservative candidate/Republican Sen. Sam McCann, and Libertarian Grayson "Kash" Jackson.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This week, Governor Bruce Rauner delivered his annual Budget Address before the General Assembly and House Speaker Michael Madigan fired a long-time campaign worker due to sexual harassment allegations.

Gatehouse Media's Doug Finke joins the panel.

Rich Saal / The State Journal-Register (pool)

Commentary: The governor's plan would rely on some iffy savings from shifting pensions costs to schools and universities and getting state workers to pay more for their health care.

Sunset behind Illinois capitol
Matt Turner / Flickr

A national study of state government budgeting gives Illinois low marks.  

Carter Staley / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Illinois and New Jersey are in dire financial straits, but experts hope California's fiscal gains can be duplicated in those states now struggling.

Nancy Hudspeth, who lived in Chicago for nearly 30 years, says she feels as if she escaped the state’s current fiscal problems when she left to pursue a teaching job in California two years ago. Before her move, Hudspeth spent six years analyzing Illinois’ finances with the University of Illinois’ Fiscal Futures Project.

Gov. Bruce Rauner's office

*Editor's Note: This piece was published prior to Gov. Bruce Rauner's announcement he signed House Bill 40, the abortion bill. 

Commentary: A capital bill; spending cuts; a veto of the abortion bill? A look at some pending questions for the fall legislative session. 

When Illinois lawmakers return for their fall session next month, they, and by extension, taxpayers, will face tantalizing questions.

Amanda Vinicky

We talked to leaders at the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability and The Civic Federation to learn about their insights on the state's first spending plan in more than two years.

Illinois Issues Forum on the state budget and the challenges ahead at the Peoria City Hall.
Sarah Scott / Peoria Public Radio

NPR Illinois continued its listening tour on the state's fiscal health co-hosting an Illinois Issues Forum in Peoria on July 20. 

Community members attended to tell how they have been impacted by the state budget impasse.

WUIS

 

 

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.

Credit Carter Staley

NPR Illinois and WDCB hosted an Illinois Issues Forum on the state budget and how it has impacted DuPage County on May 23. 

WATCH-LISTEN: State Budget Forum - Champaign-Urbana

May 17, 2017
Dina Anderson

NPR Illinois hosted a forum on the state budget in Champaign on May 17. 

Community members attended to tell how they have been impacted by the state budget impasse.

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Commentary: The time has come to stop talking about a  'truly balanced budget'

“Let’s get a truly balanced budget ... ”  Gov. Bruce Rauner and his aides, in various venues on numerous occasions, 2015-present.

Not to downplay the governor’s mantra, but what exactly is a “truly balanced budget?” 

Teresa Haley comments
Lee Milner / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

NPR Illinois hosted an Illinois Issues Forum on the state budget impasse. Illinois residents who have been directly impacted discussed the burden placed on their community. 

Christine Radogno and John Cullerton
Chicago Tonight | WTTW-TV

Full program includes:

  • Bipartisan ‘Grand Bargain’ Hits Pause in Springfield
  • Emanuel: Illinois ‘Rudderless’ Under Rauner
  • ‘World in Disarray’ Author Sees Post-WWII World Order Unravelling

 

Screen shot of the U.S. government's FAFSA student aid application website

Low-income university students had until early March this year to fill out a form that allowed them to take advantage of Illinois' primary financial aid program.

Incoming and continuing college students can't wait that long if they hope to receive a "MAP grant" for the next school year.

That form, known as the FAFSA (short for the Free Application For Federal Student Aid) came out early this year, at the start of October, Which means the deadline has moved up for everyone.

There's another reason to get the forms in quickly.

Illinois Issues: Legislative Checklist

Sep 15, 2016
Chamber
Flickr user: Matt Turner

Gov. Bruce Rauner has taken action on hundreds of bills over the summer. He signed most of them into law, but he also made some high-profile vetoes. 

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Eric Skiff

The Illinois Teachers Retirement System voted last week to reduce the amount of money it assumes it will make from its investments. The board revised this rate of assumption down to 7 percent from 7.5 percent.

This change means that as lawmakers and the governor are putting together a budget for next fiscal year, they will have to come up with a projected $420 million more than what they might have expected to pay into the retirement system for teachers outside of Chicago. Illinois' total unfunded liability for all its pension funds is pegged at $111 billion. 

Anxious legislators will once again see a deposit from the state of Illinois in their bank accounts. They’re getting paid Tuesday for the first time since July, when their April paychecks came through.

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Eric Skiff

In 2008, the Great Recession helped to tip Illinois into a fiscal crisis it still hasn't recovered from. A new report from Standard & Poor's found that another even moderate recession would mean big trouble for the state's budget. ​

flickr/ Pal-Kristian Hamre

The governor describes the stopgap budget as a bridge to reform. But it could also be called an excavator — digging the state’s fiscal hole deeper.

Amanda Vincky at work in her office
CARTER STALEY / NPR ILLINOIS | 91.9 UIS

NPR Illinois' Amanda Vinicky has been reporting on the politics at the Statehouse for about a decade, but this past year has presented a whole new set of challenges. Her stories covering the budget stalemate have been broadcast by multiple Illinois public radio stations and occasionally across the nation. Watch what a day is like covering the capitol with Amanda Vinicky. 

John Cullerton, Bruce Rauner and Michael Madigan
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois' unprecedented budget impasse has ended … for now, and just in the nick of time. The governor signed, and legislators passed, a partial budget Thursday, on the final day of fiscal year 2016. But it's only a temporary salve.

nprillinois

July 1 will mark a shameful anniversary for Illinois -- it will mean the state has completed a full year without a complete budget. How long can this go on?

  Bruce Rauner has been at the state's helm since last January, which means he'll be governor for at least another two and a half years. Democratic State Representative Lou Lang has remarked that it's possible that Illinois could go without a budget the entire length of Rauner's term.

Jeff Bossert

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner is calling on more Democrats to break ranks with party leaders in order to pass a budget plan for the state.  Rauner says he was ‘stunned’ that Democrats were unable to agree on a budget plan on the last day of the spring session. Some Democrats did break ranks, leading to the defeat of a House budget plan in the Senate, and a Senate school funding bill in the House.

WUIS

  Illinois lawmakers finished their spring session without a budget and with little hope that the Democrats' 11-month standoff with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner over a spending plan will end any time soon.

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flickr: Matt Turner

A potential new state budget barely passed the Illinois House last night,  but Governor Bruce Rauner is already signaling a veto.

WUIS

  Billions of dollars in cuts are part of a possible budget for next year.  So are higher taxes. 

Amanda Vinicky moderated a City Club of Chicago conversation on the current state budget impasse featuring a panel with  Republican State Rep. Patti Bellock, Democratic State Sen. Daniel Biss,  Democratic State Sen. Andy Manar, and Republican State Rep. David McSweeny.   

NPR Illinois State Week logo (Capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

After months without meeting, the governor and legislative leaders gathered behind closed doors this week, with apparently no progress toward a budget agreement. Speculation continues the Attorney General might go to court to stop state workers from being paid without an appropriation. Some believe such a move could force the governor and leaders to reach a deal. Others aren't so sure.  The State Journal-Register's Doug Finke joins the panel.

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