Illinois budget

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

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.