Illinois budget

Former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar has some advice for the man currently in the job – fellow Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner. Edgar says it might be time for Rauner to blink.

After more than five weeks working without a budget, Illinois leaders don't seem close to compromise. The two main players -- Rauner and Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan -- both say they could work together to pass a budget, but …

Rauner says he won't compromise his five pro-business initiatives in his "Turnaround Agenda." Madigan, on the other hand, calls Rauner's positions "extreme."

Illinois Appellate Court Upholds Pay-For-Employees Order

Jul 24, 2015
Brian Mackey

An Illinois appellate court has upheld a county judge's decision that state employees should get full pay even during the state's budget crisis.  

A panel of judges in the Fifth District Appellate Court in Mount Vernon approved Friday a temporary restraining order issued by a St. Clair County judge. The panel says employees who are represented by unions that sued the state have a ``protectable right to be paid.'' 

Brian Mackey/Illinois Public Radio

Illinois has been without a spending plan since the start of this month.

Democrats did pass a budget by the end of May deadline only for Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner to reject nearly all of it, calling it out of balance. He left school funding intact.

Last week, Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan was coy about whether legislators would try to reinstate the vetoed spending.

"Well, we're working through that and so as soon as the information is available, we'll let you know, stay close to the phone," said Michael Madigan.

Unions File Lawsuit Demanding Paychecks

Jul 3, 2015

Unions representing Illinois state employees have filed a lawsuit demanding they will be paid in full and on time despite the lack of a 2016 fiscal year budget.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 31 and the Service Employees International Union among others filed the lawsuit Thursday in St. Clair County Circuit Court.

The unions argue the state's failure to pay employees their full wages under their unions' respective collective bargaining agreements would violate their contracts.

Brian Mackey

The stalemate that's embodied state politics of late continues -- there is still no Illinois budget for fiscal year 2016.

Now, that has consequences. Without a budget, Illinois doesn't have the authority to spend any money.

That means no paychecks for state employees, and vendors not getting paid -- something which could mean no services.

Diane Gedik, who is with Autism Speaks in Chicago, says a shutdown affects the support Illinois state government provides for her 20-year-old son with autism.

Illinois Public Radio

By the end of this month, Illinois legislators are supposed to be finished with their work. That includes passing a new budget. And lawmakers are complaining that Gov. Bruce Rauner isn’t helping them move that process forward.

Rauner has spent a lot of time since he was sworn in traveling the state selling what he calls his "Turnaround" agenda, with statements like:

"You know we've got a mess on our hands, we've got a financial crisis. But we're going to get through it. We're going to restructure the government."

The Illinois Tobacco Quitline reopened for business at noon today, thanks to funding restored on April 30 due to higher-than-expected Illinois tax receipts.

All 27 employees laid off as a result of the cuts have returned to work. They shut down when Gov. Bruce Rauner announced on Good Friday that he was slashing $26 million in social service and public health grants.

The Quitline helps smokers end the habit, reducing the burden caused by smoking and saving the state millions of dollars in healthcare costs. 

FLICKR User Jim Bowen

There's a hold-up over efforts to save programs dealing with autism and drug prevention from ending in Illinois. It seems like advocates should be celebrating.

After Gov. Bruce Rauner says he was forced to earlier this month suddenly pull $26 million worth of state grants, the Illinois Senate used the legislative version of searching under the couch cushions for change.

Illinois Cuts The Line On Help To Quit Smoking

Apr 17, 2015

Twenty-seven people are out of a job at Illinois' Tobacco Quitline ... which means there's no one left to answer the phone.

For the past 15 years, Illinois smokers could dial 1-866-QUIT-YES, and a tobacco treatment counselor or nurse would answer.

Try calling now, and you get the mechanical recorded voice:

"Your call is important to us. Unfortunately, Quitline funding has been suspended due to budget cuts and we will be closed until further notice."

It was an abrupt end. Supporters say they had little financial wiggle room.

Illinois House Approves Patch For Budget Hole

Mar 24, 2015

Illinois is $1.6 billion short of the money it needs to get through the fiscal year, which ends in June.

After weeks of negotiations, Republicans and Democrats have agreed to just over two-percent cuts in most areas of state spending.

They’ll also raid a series of special funds meant to pay for everything from road building to licensing doctors.

House Speaker Michael Madigan says it could have been worse.

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