Kankakee Community College

Many public Illinois colleges and universities are hard-hit by the budget stalemate. The state isn’t mandated to fund higher education the way it must pay for kindergarten through high school.

Kankakee Community College made cuts earlier in the year due to a continued decline in enrollment. Officials cut down on its award-winning sustainability program and decided to stop operating its public radio station.

Amanda Vinicky

Illinois is in uncharted territory. It will soon begin its sixth month without a budget. 

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democrats who dominate the legislature continue to spar about what the future of Illinois 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?

If you're someone who reports on government and politics, like I do, there's one question you've asked a lot lately: "When is Illinois going to get a budget?"

Illinois General Assembly

The race for Illinois comptroller has narrowed: There will no longer be a Democratic primary.

State Sen. Daniel Biss, D-Evanston, confirmed he will not run. That means Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza will have no opposition in the Democratic primary next March.

Candidates can begin filing paperwork today to run for state office. They have until the end of the month.

But Biss says he won't turn in his petitions at all.

Larry Stephens

Illinois is about to enter its six month without a budget … which means communities haven’t received funding from Springfield.

The winter storm forecast for most of the WNIJ listening area could present an issue for those who rely on motor fuel tax funds from the state.

The National Weather Service is predicting up to eight inches of snow from this weekend’s storm. But Motor Fuel Tax funds trapped in the Illinois budget impasse might mean some communities won’t have access to state money for road salt.

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

A task force created by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is trying to figure out how to reduce the number of local governments in the state. That group voted Thursday to recommend restrictions on organized labor.

Members listening in via conference call heard an unexpected interlude.

The task force is made of legislators, mayors and a library trustee. During the meeting, they approved recommendations like incentivizing schools to consolidate and encouraging municipalities to share equipment.

Rauner Admin. Progress In Poison Hotline Cuts

Nov 19, 2015
Illinois Poison Center

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s administration is moving forward with cuts to a poison hotline.

The Illinois Poison Center is a non-profit that includes a hotline to field calls from doctors, hospitals, or just people who are worried about something their kid ingested.

Now, the Poison Center stands to lose 2 million dollars in state money.

Rauner’s administration announced in June it wanted to stop the flow of government money for the program, since there isn’t a state budget. This week, the administration got the go-ahead to make that cut.

Illinois Child Care Bureau

Thousands of Illinois families who lost access to state-subsidized child care this summer are once again eligible.

Governor Bruce Rauner rolled back the program drastically in July, which helps low-income working parents afford daycare. Lawmakers were set to reverse the cuts last week, but Rauner agreed to a deal instead.

Senator Toi Hutchinson helped to negotiate with the governor.

New hearing dates have been set to review charges against the two top officers of the Beloit Police Department.

The Beloit Police and Fire Commission scheduled nine days in January to hear evidence against Beloit Police Chief Norm Jacobs and Deputy Chief Tom Dunkin.

City Manager Lori Luther told a news conference October 13 that Jacobs and Dunkin “grossly mismanaged the department, incurring significant liability for the city and the community as a whole.”


Republicans in Illinois' Congressional delegation are on board with Governor Bruce Rauner's move to temporarily close the state's borders to Syrian refugees in the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris. 

The state's eight Republican House members are also condemning President Obama's plan to let in 10,000 refugees from that country this year.

Flickr user Pictures of Money / "Money" (CC BY 2.0)

There's no budget deal on the immediate horizon in Illinois, which is set to round out a fifth month without any budget in place. However, two frameworks have just been released.

The drafters hope they'll stimulate movement. 

State Sen. Karen McConnaughay, R-St. Charles, says frustration with the gridlock got her talking months ago with a handful of other rank-and-file legislators from both sides of the aisle and from both chambers of the General Assembly.