budget impasse

A feud between Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and Comptroller Susana Mendoza is escalating over spending priorities during the state's unprecedented budget standoff.

Mendoza is a Democrat in charge of paying Illinois' bills. She used a City Club of Chicago speech Monday to accuse Rauner of being a ``terrible governor'' and paying consultants from a health care fund, among other things.  

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

A new poll says Illinois voters are divided on what to do about the state’s financial problems.

The poll puts Illinois' deficit at $10 billion, and gives voters three choices for how to fix it: raise taxes, cut "waste and inefficiency," or both.

Cuts were the most popular answer at 45 percent. Just 11 percent favored only raising taxes; about a third said do both.

Paradoxically, when you ask voters about specific areas to cut, most are rejected. Support was strongest for spending on education, poor people, and individuals with disabilities.

Democratic state senators rejected a push by Republicans to give Governor Bruce Rauner powers that would allow broad spending cuts.  

Phil Masterton / WNIJ

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's new deputy governor is scheduled to receive half of her pay out of an employee health care account that is more than $4 billion behind on its bills due to the state's budget crisis.

The other half of Republican Leslie Munger's $138,000 salary is slated to be taken from money used to pay Medicaid providers and prescription drug costs, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

Susana Mendoza beat Munger in the race for Illinois comptroller in the Nov. election.

The state has gone without a full budget for nearly two years. 

Flickr user Daniel Borman / "Money, Money, Money" (CC BY 2.0)

lllinois senators are putting Governor Bruce Rauner’s agency directors under the magnifying glass. It’s part of the ongoing fallout from Rauner’s move to block the bipartisan "grand bargain," which is meant to end Illinois’ 20-month budget stalemate. 

The governor’s budget relies on the proposal, or it will be short by $4.6 billion.  State Senator Patricia Van Pelt grilled Public Health director Nirav Shah. 

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