Government

Government and Legislature

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

Reimbursements for some Illinois county positions haven’t been paid since July – even though they’re required by law.

That’s because of the state budget gridlock.

Those positions include each county’s state’s attorney, public defender and assessment supervisor.

Center for Governmental Studies / Northern Illinois University

A new Census analysis shows Illinois leads the nation in population loss.

The U-S Census updates its population numbers every year by looking at government documents like tax returns as well as birth and death records. Illinois lost 22-thousand people over the past year. That’s like losing a city the size of Freeport in just one year.

Northern Illinois University

Illinois colleges and universities still haven’t received state funding due to the budget impasse. Northern Illinois University trustees passed a resolution earlier this month to address that.

NIU trustees passed a temporary budget in September. It anticipated Governor Bruce Rauner’s originally proposed cuts … which was about 29 percent less than the previous year's funding.  

Flickr user Sean Freese / "Day 116: "Alexis"" (CC V 2.0)

It can be scary for a victim of sexual abuse to have to testify about it in court. An Illinois law taking effect in 2016 is meant to give them comfort. 

With a judge's approval, kids will be able to have a therapy dog with them when they take the witness stand.

"You don't want it to be a sideshow in the courtroom; it has to be up to the level of decorum that we expect,” Senator Scott Bennett, the law's sponsor and a former prosecutor, said.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

There may be another substantial amount of money from Rita Crundwell’s assets heading to the city of Dixon. The Justice Department has worked out a settlement with the former Dixon comptroller’s family.

Brian Mackey/WUIS

The finishing touches are going on a plan to streamline local government costs.

One of Gov. Bruce Rauner's controversial ideas is to give local governments the option to discontinue collective bargaining. That's something state law requires now.

The task force chaired by Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti has embraced the idea.

By the end of this year, Sanguinetti says the group will have a report published, with that and other recommendations for finding mandates that can be done away with, room for government consolidation, and cutting costs.

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

Little changed about Illinois pensions since the state's high court declared lawmakers' last attempt unconstitutional. But the state's leaders signaled they may be ready to talk about trying again.

“No one wants to talk about it, but we have to.” House GOP Leader Jim Durkin said last week while leaving a private meeting with the governor and other legislative leaders, where Durkin says they had a healthy discussion about pensions. “Unfunded liability continues to grow. We can't lose sight of that. We can get there at some point.”

FAA

The nation’s 13 busiest airports and air traffic centers, including those in Chicago, don’t have enough air traffic controllers. And many of the most experienced are ready to retire. That’s according to recent testimony before Congress by a government inspector. 

Illinois Troopers Lodge 41

The Illinois Fraternal Order of Police says a proposal by state lawmakers to license officers seems redundant.

Some Chicago Democrats are pushing for a way to license police officers, like the state does for lawyers or even hairdressers.

Keith Turney is with the Illinois police union. He says he’s not opposed to licenses, but there’s already a certification process for cops in the state.

“So, you know, maybe to save a lot of anguish and of course tax money, is maybe we just look at beefing up the certification in some way versus licensing,” Turney said.

Years of mismanagement led to Illinois’s current fiscal crisis. A recent report from the University of Illinois’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs recommends changes to the budgeting process that could help prevent future disasters.

Illinois Public Radio’s Jamey Dunn talked with Richard Dye, one of the authors of the report. 

IPR's Jamey Dunn talked about the recommendations with Richard Dye, who is co-director of the IGPA's Fiscal Futures Project and one of the authors of the report. 

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