Government and Legislature

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.

DUI Enforcement Will Intensify This Weekend

Jun 29, 2016
Phil Masterton/WNIJ

Fourth of July weekend will be a “No Refusal” weekend in Winnebago County for drivers who are stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence.

Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato is moving ahead with an idea from South Beloit Police Chief Dean Stiegemeier, to intensify DUI enforcement.

Stiegemeier had success with a similar program while he was deputy police chief in Carpentersville in Kane County.

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."