Illinois budget

Amanda Vinicky/Illinois Public Radio

Union members flooded streets in front of the Illinois Statehouse to protest Gov. Bruce Rauner's agenda and what they say are his anti-labor policies.

Union workers marched to the Capitol for a rally, where they were joined briefly by a pair of prominent Democrats: House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton.

There was a time, in recent memory, that the labor movement wasn't all too fond of Madigan. Though he's a Democrat, he helped pass bills cutting government-worker pension benefits, and he's backed corporate tax breaks.

Illinois Times

Illinois is racking up more debt than even its comptroller knows about. Hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of bills are awaiting payment. They're part of a little-known program that has lawmakers asking questions.

Documents obtained by Illinois Public Radio show that, since November, the state owes businesses in the Vendor Support Initiative program more than $600 million. That doesn't include the 1 percent interest fee applied per month to bills over 90 days old under the Prompt Payment Act.

Homeless Youth Protest Lack Of State Funds

Apr 6, 2016

About 50 Illinois homeless youth and service providers essentially ambushed Gov. Bruce Rauner Tuesday. Their goal was to bring attention to a lack of state funding for job training, counseling and affordable housing.

Brian Mackey/Illinois Public Radio

Illinois's overdue bills are 16 percent higher than previously reported. They could top ten billion dollars by end of the fiscal year.

   

 

Make Room and WNIJ News

More than one fourth of 736,000 renters in Illinois’ ten largest cities spend more than half their income for housing.

Some 207,000 renters -- or 28 percent -- spend more than half their household income on rent and utilities, a level which housing experts consider a “severe” burden. Statewide, 27 percent -- or 439,958 households -- pay unaffordable rent.

Among northern Illinois cities, the highest rate of severely burdened renters is in Rockford, with more than 28 percent --  8,600 of the estimated 30,400 renters in the third-largest city.

Brian Mackey/Illinois Public Radio

Just days after vetoing a measure to help low-income college students, Gov. Bruce Rauner signaled he's open to another way to make it happen.

Rauner's reason for rejecting the Democrats' funding plan was that it would have sent Illinois deeper into debt.

But Rauner, a Republican, has said he'd be OK with an alternate GOP approach -- because it's paired with money to back it up. He says, however, that he will approve money for what are known as MAP grants (via the Monetary Award Program) if lawmakers loosen the rules under which government and universities make purchases.

Illinois Board of Higher Education

The budget that Gov. Bruce Rauner proposed this week recommends a 16 percent cut to higher education. This year's proposed cut sounds gentler than the 32 percent reduction Rauner recommended last year. But instead of being spread across higher education, virtually all of the pain would fall upon the state's universities. 

These proposed reductions come after higher education has gone without state funding of any kind for more than seven months.

Senator Challenges Rauner's Math On School Funding

Feb 19, 2016
ilga.gov

Public schools were singled out in Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's budget address yesterday as one of the rare state services he’s happy to fund. In fact, he said increasing education funding is the one thing that he will not back down on.

Illinois public schools receive state aid through a complicated formula. It’s meant to ensure that every school can spend at least $6,119 per student every year. But, for the past few years, state government hasn’t met that obligation.

Rauner said he wants to fund 100 percent of the state aid formula for the first time in seven years.

Amanda Vinicky / WUIS

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican, spent more than half of his budget address for the coming fiscal year criticizing the Democratically controlled legislature Wednesday afternoon for not passing his so-called "Turnaround Agenda" or providing a balanced budget for the current fiscal year.

  The governor did propose a windfall for education, with what he called record funding for kindergarten-through-high school programs.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

DeKalb-area education leaders, students, and service providers held a rally Thursday at Northern Illinois University to send a

   message to state lawmakers: end the budget impasse.

There were no organized chants, no waving signs -- but there IS a social media hashtag: #RallyForIL

Students from NIU and Kishwaukee College were among the community members who spoke up about how the lack of a state budget hurts them, especially the hold on MAP grants, which help pay for their schooling.

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