Illinois budget

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.

Still No Agreement, But State Budget Plan Moves Forward

Mar 4, 2015

Illinois Senate Democrats are proposing that the state sweep outstanding balances from special state funds to fill the current budget gap – and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's office is calling the plan "half-baked."

This partisan feuding means there's still no agreement on how to fill a hole in this year's budget.

The Illinois budget year goes through June but, thanks in part to the reduction in state income taxes, money already is running out for such needs as a program that helps low-income workers send their kids to daycare.

“Illinois’ business climate outshines its regional rivals.”

A peek into a crystal ball, revealing future newspaper headlines after Illinois lawmakers embrace Gov. Bruce Rauner’s 44-point, State of the State, “Turnaround” manifesto?

Guess again. A leftover claim from former Gov. Pat Quinn’s failed campaign? Nope.

Rauner Hints How Budget Negotiations Are Going

Feb 27, 2015
Amanda Vinicky

When Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner was sworn in as governor - he faced an immediate budget problem.

Programs like those that fund child daycare were running out of money - because lawmakers passed a budget that accounted for a higher income tax rate.

Rauner says he’s close to an agreed spending plan with Democratic leaders for the next few months.

“Everybody’s watching sausage be made. This is not, it’s not a pretty picture. The sausage will actually taste good in the end, but it’s kinda nasty and ugly and a little smelly in the process.”

Rauner Proposes Deep Spending Cuts In First Budget Address

Feb 18, 2015

Gov. Rauner presented his first budget proposal to lawmakers Wednesday.


Illinois’ finances are ailing. That’s been a story for years, but the situation got a lot worse at the beginning of the year when a tax cut took effect.

The Republican is proposing significant cuts to everything from healthcare for the poor to colleges and universities.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Illinois lawmakers head back to Springfield tomorrow for the first time since they adjourned last spring. They have a lot of issues on the table, including how the state will handle the budgetary hit it will take when the temporary income tax increase expires at the end of December.

Illinois Ends Fiscal Year In The Black...Temporarily

Jul 10, 2014
state of Illinois

The state took in over a billion dollars more in taxes than the prior year, thanks to an uptick in sales tax money.  Personal income tax revenue also rose , but the amount coming from corporate income taxes dropped. It's something Jim Muschinske, a budget forecaster for the state, said was predicted.

"That was not unexpected. In fact, we actually did better this fiscal year than what was initially assumed back when the budget was passed," Muschinske said.