Illinois budget

Flickr User Medisave UK / "Littmann Stethoscope" (CC BY 2.0)

At least sixteen of Illinois' 97 public health departments have laid off employees or cut back service hours. More are expected unless the state comes through with funding.

It comes as flu season approaches, after regional outbreaks of Legionnaire's Disease and the mumps, and after the state announced that it will no longer pay for testing STD specimens. This means the local departments have to take on an additional cost.

President of the Illinois Association of Public Health Administrators, Miriam Link-Mullison, says the fiscal situation is increasingly desperate.

Betsy Youngquist / BYArt

It’s a good time to catch up on paperwork for employees of state-run museums in Illinois. They’re closed to the public as the budget impasse continues, but employees are expected to show up for work. The mayor of Lockport is working behind the scenes to try to keep the Illinois State Museum art gallery in his town open. 

state of Illinois

Illinois Comptroller Republican Leslie Munger says the state is getting further behind in paying its bills because the governor and lawmakers have not agreed on a budget.

Munger criticized the reliance on court orders to mandate the state pay for certain services - like health care for low income people and foster care.

Governor Bruce Rauner won election on a campaign of lower income taxes - which has meant less money for the services the state’s still providing.

Munger will be addressing the issue at a news conference in Rockford Thursday morning.

Illinois’ top four legislative leaders used to hold marathon meetings with the governor to work out their differences. But that changed this year. The state’s top leaders haven’t met in months.

When is the last time House Speaker Michael Madigan met with Gov. Bruce Rauner?

"Last meeting with the governor? I don’t recall exactly when it was."

He said that Wednesday night. A few weeks earlier, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin on the same question:

“It was a month and a half ago."

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."