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.

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