Jamey Dunn

Former Illinois Issues Editor

No other news initiative explains Illinois as well as Illinois Issues.

Illinois Issues is dedicated to providing in-depth analysis of public policy in our state. With a special focus on Illinois government and politics, Illinois Issues pays close attention to current trends and examines the state's quality of life.

Illinois Issues was a monthly print magazine, in continuous publication since 1975 by the University of Illinois at Springfield (formerly Sangamon State University). In 2015, it transitioned to a digital publication. Now Illinois Issues offers a weekly in-depth story, published on Thursday mornings, along with a companion radio piece that airs on NPR Illinois and other public radio stations throughout the state. 

Our readers and listeners tell us they rely on Illinois Issues to keep up with Illinois government and politics. We also publish an annual up-to-date directory called the Roster of State Government Officials — a resource our readers find invaluable year-round.

Sean McMahon / The Field Museum

The Tully monster is Illinois' state fossil, but until recently scientists were not sure what kind of creature it was. A team of researchers compared thousands of specimens and were finally able to classify the Tully Monster.

NPR Illinois State Week logo (Capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

This week, Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno declared, "We need change!"  However, there is still no agreement among state lawmakers and Governor Bruce Rauner on what form that change should take as Illinois continues to go without a spending plan.  Illinois Issues' Jamey Dunn and The State Journal-Register's Bernie Schoenburg join the panel.

Muhammad Mahdi Karim

As summer comes to the Midwest, it brings mosquitoes with it. This year, it also brings fears of the Zika virus, which has been linked to serious birth defects in South America. 

flickr/ wonderferret

Two central Illinois dentist offices have recently closed, citing the lack of payments from the state for dental care given to public employees. 

Illinois Supreme Court
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Some see a recent Illinois Supreme Court ruling on public employee wages as a potential key to ending the state’s budget impasse.

Rachel Otwell sat down with Past Due host Jamey Dunn to talk about the case.

flickr/ GotCredit

The state will soon enter its 10th month without a budget, but spending continues and bills keep piling up. 

A mix of tourists and lobbyists milled about the rotunda of the Illinois Statehouse on Tuesday.
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

The Illinois primary election is over — so will lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner finally pass a budget?

Some who watch state government closely say chances aren't so great. 

flickr/ Zoe Hoornaert

A couple of legislative primary races are serving as stand-ins for the political struggle between the governor and Democratic leaders. 

flickr/ Emilio Kuffer

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s plan for next fiscal year seeks to fix the foundation while the house is on fire.

TaxCredits.net

This Wednesday, Gov. Bruce Rauner will present his budget plan for next fiscal year to the General Assembly. But the state still doesn’t have a budget for the current fiscal year. 

cityofchicago.org

Chicago Public School's fiscal problems continue. Meanwhile, some universities are trying to figure out how to keep their doors open without state funding. 

For this week’s Past Due, Jamey Dunn sat down with Sean Crawford to give an update about the budget impact on education in Illinois. 

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

With the state budget impasse ongoing, lack of money continues to affect Illinois colleges and universities as well as Chicago Public Schools.  Chris Mooney, director of the University of Illinois' Institute of Government and Public Affairs, joins the panel.

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he wants to get the state out of legal agreements called consent decrees. The deals are a big part of the reason the government is still operating without a budget; they also impact the lives of thousands of Illinois residents. But unless you are affected by one, you've probably never heard of them. 

flickr/401(K) 2012

A new analysis found that Illinois lost out on millions of dollars when it sold bonds last week.

Martin Luby, with the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs, compared the recent bond sale to one in 2006, when Illinois had a much better credit rating. This week for Past Due, Jamey Dunn talked with Luby about his report. 

flickr/ TaxCredits.net

  A new analysis found that Illinois lost out on millions of dollars when it sold bonds last week. 

flickr/401(K) 2012

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget office released three-year budget projections today. According to the estimate, if Illinois remains on its current fiscal path, the sate’s backlog of unpaid bills would swell to nearly $25 billion by Fiscal Year 2019.

If that were to happen, the backlog would be equal to nearly three quarters of the state’s operating funds.

flickr/ Photo Monkey

The monthly Flash Index provides a snapshot of the Illinois economy. In December, that picture showed the slowest economic growth the state has seen since March of 2013.

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

This week, a look back at the past year in Illinois state government and politics.  WUIS News Director Sean Crawford and Illinois Issues Editor Jamey Dunn join the panel.

Chamber
Flickr user: Matt Turner

More than 200 new laws will go into effect in Illinois on January 1.

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois got a new governor in 2015 but not a budget. In terms of state government, a lot has—and hasn’t — happened in the past year.

Printed budgets
WNIJ

Years of mismanagement led to the state’s current fiscal crisis. A recent report from the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA) suggests changes to the budgeting process that could help prevent future disasters. 

flickr/Chad Elliott

Cash-strapped counties in Illinois are trying to call in old fines for offenses like speeding tickets. Some of their efforts have been criticized because the cases they are trying to collect on are two or three decades old.

This Sunday is the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The amendment banned slavery in America. 

To commemorate the event, The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will display a copy of the amendment signed by Lincoln. 

The State Legislative Leaders Foundation

A group of human service providers is calling on lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner to not only pass a budget for the current fiscal year, but also approve a plan for next fiscal year. 

flickr/D.L.

After the Mississippi River flooded four years ago, state and federal authorities offered buyouts to affected homeowners. Now the state budget impasse has left some of those deals in limbo.


Lilong Dolrani

When the state finally has a budget, who will be left out?

The State Legislative Leaders Foundation

Gov. Bruce Rauner and the four legislative leaders were supposed to meet this week for the first time since the end of the spring legislative session. Instead that meeting was postponed until December 1.

In this week's installment of Past Due, Sean Crawford sat down with Illinois Issues editor Jamey Dunn for an update on the budget impasse and how the delayed meeting could affect negotiations.

 

Illinois Department of Agriculture

Musical acts for the state fair were paid up front while the artist who sculpted the fair’s iconic butter cow is still waiting for her check. Meanwhile, an agency that helps survivors of sexual assault is in danger of closing as it waits for funding. 

Illinois Issues/WUIS

On Tuesday, voters in Ohio considered whether to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana use. It would have created a new provision in the state's constitution that allowed only ten farms to grow the plant legally. That plan had its critics, and the measure failed. Many experts have their eye on Ohio - as it serves as an example of Midwestern residents trying to take on the legalization issue that has swept Colorado and the West Coast.

Paul Sableman

Housing authorities spent on pricey dinners at training junkets and retirement bonuses for employees while public housing complexes in the state’s poorest county fell into serious disrepair.

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