government

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

A week from today is a shameful anniversary for Illinois. It will mean the state has gone a full year without a complete budget.

          

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.

Back in May, Democratic State Representative Lou Lang remarked:

“…That it was entirely possible that there would not be an agreed budget during the entire four years of Bruce Rauner's governorship."

State of Illinois

Illinois legislators who have been working privately for the past month to craft a temporary budget have one drafted, but that doesn't make it a done deal.

Illinois lawmakers will return to Springfield Wednesday. That’s only two days before the new fiscal year begins and the end of a full year of the state having no budget.

The strain of going nearly a year without a budget coupled with doubt that a full deal can be reached  in the near future have made a stopgap budget the priority.

Dan Libman

Restaurants within a few northern Illinois counties will have to complete a new alcohol training program by July 1.

summit.fbi.gov

As Illinois draws close to entering its second year without a budget, one of its many unpaid bills threatens to provoke a dispute with the nation's top crime-fighting force.

Documents obtained by The Associated Press show that the state owes $3 million to the FBI for processing fingerprints and conducting background checks.

The debt is now so long overdue that it could be turned over to the federal government's collection agency - the Treasury Department.

Winnebago County

A former Winnebago County purchasing director was charged with two counts of embezzlement.

Sally Claassen was charged with taking at least $5,000 from county funds in 2014 and again last year. Court documents also say Claassen must return more than $450,000 to federal authorities, but the indictment does not say exactly how much Claassen is accused of stealing.

State of Illinois

Illinois mayors and first responders want state lawmakers to protect them from lawsuits when responding to emergencies.

Brad Cole, with the Illinois Municipal League, says there was a long-held notion that government employees could serve the general public without fear of being sued. But he says the Illinois Supreme Court recently struck down that principle.

Cole says he wants a law passed to bring it back.

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

Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger says she and other officeholders will have to wait for their paychecks just like others in the state during the budget impasse.

Munger says it isn't fair that she, members of the General Assembly and other state officeholders get their paychecks on time during the budget stalemate, while social service organizations and small companies that do business with Illinois must wait.

The failure to pass a budget created a crisis that is now stretching into its tenth month. It left the state nearly 8 billion dollars in debt.

Flickr user Images Money / "Tax" (CC BY 2.0)

All Illinois residents -- no matter how rich, no matter how poor -- pay the same income tax rate. Now a plan is afoot to change that with a constitutional amendment, where the wealthy would pay more.

A pair of Democratic legislators are trying to likewise move Illinois from a flat to a graduated income tax.

Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie says those who are well off need to do more to help the state.

Under his four-tiered plan, anyone making more than a million dollars would pay 9.75 percent, which is more than double today's rate of 3.75 percent.

Landmarks Illinois

Landmarks Illinois says 11 building in the state are in danger of being lost forever because there's no money to make capital improvements. Most of the sites are publicly owned, and local governments are facing the choice of their resources to rehabilitate these buildings or tearing them down.

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

The Illinois Senate today moved swiftly to approve a spending plan the House passed yesterday.

It authorizes spending nearly 4 billion dollars on higher education and social services -- two areas that have been caught without funding during a prolonged political fight. But Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno says it doesn't mean universities or programs would actually get money. 

Radogno says the state has none to give.

"If you vote for this, you're voting for a hollow promise,” Radogno said. “Let's look at the bills that have funding." 

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