bill backlog

Rauner loses a string of veto overrides in the Illinois House, but avoids disaster on a few key bills. Meanwhile, allegations of widespread sexual misconduct prompt a quick legislative response in the Statehouse.

Peter Breen
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois House dealt a series of rebukes to Gov. Bruce Rauner on Wednesday, as Republicans joined Democrats to override nearly a dozen of the governor’s vetoes.

Chicago and Illinois submit their joint bid for Amazon's "HQ2" — a second headquarters for the web retailer. We'll talk about the incentives arms race, Illinois' strengths and weaknesses, and the secret bid.

Gov. Bruce Rauner says his administration will finally go to the bond market to help refinance billions of dollars of unpaid bills. The move is expected to save the state hundreds of millions of dollars a year in interest penalties.

Susana Mendoza
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

More than two months after the Illinois General Assembly finally approved a state budget, Gov. Bruce Rauner is moving ahead with a plan to begin cutting into the $15 billion backlog of bills.

Gov. Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

It’s been two months since Illinois government finally passed a full budget. Legislators hoped that would accelerate the payment of overdue bills, which total more than $15 billion. But the governor’s office is holding that up.

David Harris
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Another voice is urging Gov. Bruce Rauner to work with the budget that was passed over his objections.

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza is urging Gov. Bruce Rauner to step up the pace in dealing with the state’s debt.

After more than two years, 16 Republicans split from Gov. Bruce Rauner to help Democrats pass a budget for Illinois. It spends less than Illinois has been during the impasse, and raises the individual income tax rate from 3.75 percent to 4.95 percent.

What was the breakthrough? Was this really an uprising among rank-and-file legislators? Does Rauner benefit from this outcome? And is the end of Illinois' fiscal problems?

Susana Mendoza
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois government has been deadlocked on a state budget for 23 months. During that time, the once-perfunctory job of comptroller has gained in power and prominence.

bus stop
flickr.com/stevekeiretsu

The state budget impasse has left Illinois months behind in payment to downstate mass transit agencies. That’s led to cuts in service from Kankakee to Jacksonville.

Now lawmakers are looking to remove them from the fight.

Jim Edgar headshot
Illinois Public Media

Talks between Illinois' leaders have come to a halt, even as an end-of-year budget deadline approaches. Former Governor Jim Edgar says that's a mistake -- Illinois needs a budget.

Edgar says Illinois economy will suffer for years as a direct result of the stalemate.

"The damage is ... the worst damage I've seen. I mean ever the bad years of Blagojevich and the image he gave of Illinois, I don't think has done anything as much damage as we've seen," he said Monday on the Illinois Public Media show "The 21st."

Anxious legislators will once again see a deposit from the state of Illinois in their bank accounts. They’re getting paid Tuesday for the first time since July, when their April paychecks came through.

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

Comptroller Leslie Munger says Illinois is spending itself into what could be a $10 billion dollar pile of unpaid bills by the end of the year. On top of that, an nonpartisan state budget forecaster is predicting an $8 billion dollar deficit for this year alone.

Brian Mackey/WUIS

Illinois legislators should expect a delay in their paychecks.

Comptroller Leslie Munger announced Sunday that elected officials' pay will wait in line, just like other bills.

Vendors and agencies that perform work for the state are waiting months to be paid. Until now, officials' paychecks were essentially given preferential treatment.

With a handful of Constitutional officers and 177 state legislators, the paychecks collectively total $1.3 million a month, or $15.6 for the year.

flickr/ GotCredit

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

flickr/ Emilio Kuffer

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

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless

 

 Many Illinois residents likely are going about their days, without feeling any direct impact of the state's budget impasse. Some may not even realize there is no budget -- decisions by lawmakers and judges have kept money flowing to certain areas. But agencies left out of those deals are getting increasingly desperate.

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. 

Brian Mackey/WUIS

Comptroller Leslie Munger says Illinois' unpaid bills backlog could potentially jump past $8 billion by next year without a state budget. 

Thousands of state employees are a step closer to receiving money they've been waiting on since 2011.

The Illinois House approved spending the approximately $63 million it'll take to pay workers raises they were guaranteed in their contracts, but which the state refused to hand over.

flickr/dborman

  The amount of money Illinois owes to companies and organizations that have provided goods and services for the state is at its lowest level since 2010, but that improvement could be short-lived.

At one point, Illinois had a stack of overdue bills totaling about $10 billion.

It took so long for the state to pay back its vendors that some were forced to close their doors - they couldn't pay their bills.

But that was at the height of the recession, and before Illinois' hike in the state income tax.

John Cullerton
Illinois Senate

  Illinois Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) says he's come to an agreement on state spending with the speaker of the Illinois House. But Cullerton is leaving the door open for an income tax hike after the November election.

WUIS/Lee Strubinger

A report says Illinois officials can look forward to more than a billion dollars in tax collections they hadn't been expecting this year. A group of lawmakers already has a plan for the money.

Thousands of state workers are owed an estimated 112 million dollars in back wages. Governor Pat Quinn negotiated raises with members of AFSCME back before the 2010 elections, but lawmakers never came through with the money to pay them.

Now some Republicans say this year's unexpected tax windfall ought to be used to finally make good on the contract.