State Budget | WGLT

State Budget

Michael Hill / WGLT

Illinois State University president Larry Dietz commented on an alleged rape that happened during an ISU Preview orientation program. Speaking at the Board of Trustees meeting earlier today, Dietz said this is the first time this has happened since the event was founded in 1966.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger says the state's backlog of unpaid bills will be roughly $10 billion by the year's end after factoring in the temporary spending plan lawmakers recently approved.  

The backlog is roughly $7.8 billion. Legislators approved a stop-gap budget that will cover about six months. The move followed a year-long impasse.  
 Munger's office writes the state's checks.

Henry Lawford / Creative Commons

The stopgap spending measure approved by lawmakers and the Governor at the end of last month did nothing to fix the structural deficit or the backlog of bills State government owes in Illinois. Take dentists for instance.

There are about 18,000 dentists in Illinois. The state owes them 150 million dollars.

Jim Browne / WGLT

U-S Senator Dick Durbin says he's glad Illinois has a stop-gap budget. But he says the year-long budget crisis didn't help reduce urban violence in Illinois.

Ralph Weisheit / WGLT

Illinois State University President Larry Dietz is telling the campus community 'thanks' to lawmakers for the stopgap spending bill, but things still aren't great.

In a campus wide e-mail Dietz notes ISU starts off the current fiscal year the same way it did last year with no budget. And spokesman Jay Groves says the stopgap measure is still an eleven million dollar cut.

Illinois State Capitol exterior
Justin Brocke / Flickr

On the final day of the fiscal year Thursday, Illinois legislators passed a temporary budget.

The package easily passed first the House, then the Senate Thursday; it now goes to the governor who is expected to sign it.

The plan will send money to social service organizations that have waited since last July for payment. It'll also get money to universities, allow road work to continue, and ensure schools can able to open on time this fall.

Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan says it is the result of good faith efforts.

Rachel Otwell /

Across the state, and here in McLean County, thousands of newspaper subscribers were met with a single word as the headline on the front page Wednesday- "Enough."

Underneath ran an editorial that urges lawmakers and the governor to pass a budget before the current fiscal year ends Friday. The State Journal-Register in Springfield coordinated the unique effort and dozens of other papers followed suit.

Illinois Public Radio's Rachel Otwell spoke with Angie Muhs, executive editor of  the Journal-Register, to learn more about the message she hopes it sends to lawmakers.

Illinois State Capitol exterior
Justin Brocke / Flickr

There's intense pressure on Illinois lawmakers to pass a budget before Friday, when a new fiscal year begins.  Governor Bruce Rauner spent hours meeting with legislative leaders Wednesday morning and negotiations are expected to continue throughout the day.  

After a year without a state budget, word is an agreement may be shaping up between the Republican governor and the Democrats who control the General Assembly.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

The human services sector makes a major contribution to Illinois' economy, but the current budget impasse is making that area suffer. Human services hire more than 1,000 workers in McLean County. With a loss of these jobs, there will be less income to the community through taxes and spending.

Creative Commons

Some $2 billion in road construction projects will be shut down July 1 in Illinois without a state budget agreement. An Associated Press analysis of Illinois Department of Transportation data shows that collectively work on the 19 largest projects is less than halfway done in terms of money spent.

WIU To Furlough Again

Jun 27, 2016
Adam Moss / Creative Commons

Some Western Illinois University employees will have to take more unpaid days off as the school tries to cope with a drastic decrease in state aid.

This spring, Western imposed furloughs on non-negotiated staff earning more-than 40-thousand dollars. They had to take those days off between April and June.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

With just over a week left before the start of the 2017 Fiscal Year, Illinois' Comptroller is warning that hardships caused by the state's budget impasse will grow significantly without further action in Springfield.

While court orders, consent decrees and statutory authorization of some payments will continue, Munger said that $23 billion in existing spending for schools, 911 call centers, domestic violence shelters, federally-funded social and human services and higher education will stop next month without new legislation.

Whitney Donahue / Flickr

Illinois Lottery officials say they support a short-term budget proposed by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner because it would pay lottery winners.  

The state of Illinois remains without a budget after Rauner and Democratic leaders couldn't come to an agreement. Last year lottery winners sued when the state withheld winnings because of lack of a budget.

A patchwork plan allowed lottery winners to eventually be paid but it expires June 30, the end of the budget year.  


Illinois could miss out on roughly $31 million if the state goes another year without a budget.

State Treasurer Michael Frerichs says already Illinois lost out on nearly $8 million of investment income because of the impasse. Frerichs says that’s because it's his duty to make sure that cash is available to pay the state's bills.

"The budget impasse has required my office to alter our preferred investment strategy," he said. "Instead of longer-term, higher-yielding investment tools, we've had to move money into shorter-term less lucrative investments."


Comptroller Leslie Munger says without a new budget agreement, Illinois will again stop paying lottery winners, 911 call centers and higher education grants starting July 1.  

Munger addressed Illinois' ongoing budget impasse Thursday. She said without new legislation, her office won't be able to write checks. The Republican says the situation could lead to wave of costly lawsuits.  Illinois is poised to enter a second fiscal year without a budget.  

Staff / WGLT

If schools don't open in the fall because of a lack of state funding, children will be hungry. That's according to school superintendents reacting to Governor Bruce Rauner's speech in Bloomington.

Jenna Dooley / IPR

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has canceled Wednesday's scheduled Illinois House session so budget talks can continue.  

The Chicago Democrat told House members not to convene in Springfield. The session would have been the House's first meeting since they adjourn the spring session May 31 without a budget for the second year in a row.  

Madigan says bipartisan groups of legislators meeting with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's staff have made progress in recent weeks. He says canceling the session will allow discussions to continue uninterrupted.  

Dave Newman / Flickr

As Illinois draws close to entering its second year without a budget, one of its many unpaid bills threatens to provoke a dispute with the nation's top crime-fighting force.  

Documents obtained by The Associated Press show that the state owes $3 million to the FBI for processing fingerprints and conducting background checks. The debt is now so long overdue that it could be turned over to the federal government's collection agency _ the Treasury Department.  

Staff / WGLT

Illinois State University President Larry Dietz said he is really disappointed lawmakers have failed to approve a budget for the second consecutive year. The spring session of the General Assembly ended Tuesday night without any viable spending plan. Dietz said this has been bad news for eleven months.

Jim Browne / WGLT

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is spending Wednesday and Thursday taking his budget message on the road.  The legislature finished its spring session Tuesday evening without sending him a spending plan. 

Illinois State Capitol exterior
Justin Brocke / Flickr

Illinois is heading toward a second year without a state budget, putting some schools and colleges in jeopardy of closing and all but ensuring more social services and state programs will be cut amid a legislative standoff unlike anything the state has ever seen. 

With the Legislature set to adjourn its spring session Tuesday night, Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and majority Democrats remain deadlocked over a spending plan and business-friendly laws Rauner has made a condition of any budget deal.  

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Governor Bruce Rauner won't say what he'll do with a spending plan approved by House Democrats.  But he did decry it as wildly out-of-balance.

It's not Rauner's to deal with, yet -- the measure still has to be taken up by the Senate. But this much is clear already: Rauner won't sign the $40 billion budget into law. His office says he'll veto it. But he doesn't have to veto all of it.  The governor can selectively use his veto pen.

Illinois State Capitol exterior
Justin Brocke / Flickr

An attempt to reach a deal on Governor Bruce Rauner's pro-business, anti-labor demands isn't working out for House Democrats, who are set to go it alone on a new state budget.


Editors Note:  "Stretched Thin," is examining the effect of the state budget impasse on local social service agencies to put a human face on how the stalemate is affecting the daily lives of Illinois residents.  

Several months ago the Bloomington based social service agency Providing Access To Help kept its doors open and made payroll after much searching and stress about searching for a loan. 

Creative Commons

Illinois' top political leaders remain divided.  As of Tuesday there will be only eight days left for them to reach a budget deal.


About 20 bicyclists stopped in Normal overnight on the way from Chicago to Springfield, hoping to convince lawmakers to restore funding for social service programs.

The employees and volunteers with the organization Bikes 'N Roses hope the General Assembly and the governor will restore the bulk of the $250,000 cut from their budget. Bikes 'N Roses puts at-risk youth to work fixing bikes on Chicago's west side.

Mid Central Community Action

Editors Note:  "Stretched Thin," is examining the effect of the state budget impasse on local social service agencies to put a human face on how the stalemate is affecting the daily lives of Illinois residents.  

Many human service agencies were forced to react immediately at the end of last June when Governor Bruce Rauner and Lawmakers chose not to agree on a state budget. Among them was Mid Central Community Action in Bloomington.

Children smiling in a classroom
Courtesy / YWCA of McLean County

Editors Note:  "Stretched Thin," is examining the effect of the state budget impasse on local social service agencies to put a human face on how the stalemate is affecting the daily lives of Illinois residents.

The YWCA offers services from the cradle to old age, but one of its biggest outreach efforts involves early learning programs for children.

Soda Tax May Bubble Up In Springfield

May 18, 2016
Rex Sorgatz / Creative Commons

Lawmakers scrambling to find money to fix Illinois' multi-billion dollar deficit are looking to sugary drinks as one potential source of revenue.

Jerry Harcharik

An estimated eight thousand union members flooded streets in front of the Illinois Statehouse to protest Governor Bruce Rauner's agenda.