Government

Government and Legislature

Phil Masterton / WNIJ

Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger visited Rockford today to announce a new internet tool aimed at improving government transparency.

She said the website, named Open Book, allows Illinois residents to search and compare state contracts with campaign contributions.

“Going through the endless amounts of data that were available on our website, it was very difficult for me to navigate, it was overwhelming the amount of data, and I thought, we have to do something about this,” Munger said.

unitedwayrrv.org

The financial struggle isn’t over for the organizations that provide social services to people in need in Illinois.

There are still a lot of questions about the stopgap budget passed by lawmakers, according to Paul Logli. He’s the president and CEO of United Way of Rock River Valley. Logli says providers have heard from a number of state agencies that they have 18-month contracts that expire January 1st.

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

One “best case scenario” – according to an NIU spokesman in a previous report – has happened for Northern Illinois University; NIU received its appropriation from Illinois after the state passed a temporary budget last week. 

NIU will get a $48 million appropriation in operating funds, which university officials say will go primarily to payroll. The school will also receive more than $15 million to complete renovations for an academic building that houses theater and anthropology students and faculty.

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

Illinois legislators haven’t been paid in months, but that’s about to change.

Legislators get a base salary of about $5,600 a month -- or they did.

A few months ago, Comptroller Leslie Munger announced that lawmakers’ paychecks would get placed in a cue, along with the rest of the state’s bills. It can take a while to make it to the front of the line because Illinois doesn’t have money to pay all of its bills.

It’s a persistent problem that’s been exacerbated by the budget impasse.

Flickr user Jim Bowen / "Illinois State Capitol" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner are trying to craft a short-term budget deal to ensure schools open this fall and social service programs are funded while an epic battle over a long-term spending plan continues.

Two House committee planned on meeting Wednesday evening and lawmakers are scheduled to be in session Thursday with the expectation that they can vote on a plan. The Republican governor and Democrats who control the Legislature have spent several hours the last two days trying to agree on a deal.

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