Illinois budget

Illinois Lawmakers Spend Holiday In Springfield

May 26, 2014
state of Illinois

With just six days remaining before the scheduled summer adjournment, the state budget remains the top issue. 

Lawmakers face few choices: slash spending on things like education and health care, or vote to make the current five percent income tax rate permanent. It's scheduled to drop by more than a percentage point at the end of the year.

Democrats have been unable to find the votes needed to pass a tax extension in the House. Proponents of that approach, like Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago), hope their reluctant colleagues heard from constituents over the weekend.

WUIS / wuis.org

The Illinois House overwhelmingly rejected  a so-called "doomsday budget" today -- one that does NOT rely on extending 20-11's income tax hike. It would have imposed deep cuts across Illinois government.

state of Illinois

Illinois lawmakers are going back to the drawing board on a state spending plan. Although Gov. Pat Quinn and top Democrats have been pushing for an extension of a higher income tax rate, House Speaker Michael Madigan says there isn't enough support for that. 

With Republicans uniformly opposed to keeping Illinois income tax rate at 5 percent -- instead of letting it drop as scheduled at the end of the year -- both Quinn and Madigan have been working to get 60 Democratic members of the House on board.

But Wednesday afternoon, Madigan admitted defeat.

Illinois Lawmakers Nearing Budget Votes

May 14, 2014
Brian Mackey / WUIS

Dozens of spending measures were introduced in the Illinois House Tuesday. They are said to be the framework for next year's state budget.

There are variations, but the measures introduced by House Democrats are in line with Gov. Pat Quinn's proposed budget.

Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills):

"It's very clear, this is all predicated on the assumption that they're going to raise the income tax rate again at some point."

As in, it relies on Illinois continuing to tax income at 5 percent.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

School superintendents in Illinois are getting a chance to weigh in on what could be a huge change in the state’s public school funding formula. 

As more baby-boomers retire, Illinois is increasingly missing out on a revenue source.   Of the 41 states with an income tax, Illinois is one of only three that exempt all pension income.

A new report from the Chicago-based Civic Federation says Illinois needs to take a longer-term approach to budgeting; one that is rooted less in politics, and more in reality. Most notably. the group recommends Illinois extend its current income tax rate for a year before gradually rolling it back.

Susan Stephens/Roberta F / Creative Commons

The Illinois State Board of Education is warning school districts to prepare to make due with less next fiscal year.

stl.today

Update on 7/12/13: Workers at state parks and fairs will get paid after all, according to Brad Hahn, spokesman for the Illinois comptroller. He says the portion of the budget affecting them has been signed by Governor Quinn, so the threat of late paychecks for those workers is over. 

Tens of thousands of state workers in Illinois are at risk of missing their next paycheck. That's because Governor Pat Quinn hasn't signed a bill that covers certain elements of the new state budget.

The Illinois Poison Center has been taking calls from worried parents for sixty years. Now it’s asking the public to make an emergency call on its behalf.  

Republican lawmakers in the Illinois House say the state could save a lot of money by tightening welfare rules. They unveiled a package of reforms at Memorial Hall in Rockford Wednesday. 

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