budget impasse

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

A day after the Illinois General Assembly ended it’s spring session without passing a budget, two bond rating agencies have downgraded the state’s credit.

The actions, by S&P Global Ratings and Moody's Investors Service, leave state government debt just one step above “junk” status.

Michael Madigan
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois General Assembly ended its annual legislative session last night without agreeing on a budget.

Top Democrats and Republicans blamed each other.

As Brian Mackey reports, state government's long, slow financial crisis will accelerate.

Senate Democrats go it alone on a tax hike — will their House counterparts follow suit? And what happens if legislators don't pass a budget by the scheduled end of session on May 31?

Credit Carter Staley

NPR Illinois and WDCB hosted an Illinois Issues Forum on the state budget and how it has impacted DuPage County on May 23. 

Senate Democrats hold another set of votes on what was once referred to as the "grand bargain," but Republicans say the deal isn't there yet. Can anyone in Springfield trust anyone else long enough to make something happen?

Meanwhile, Democratic gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker is under attack by Republicans over his property taxes.

Jason Barickman and other members of the Illinois Senate Republican cuacus.
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Senate Democrats on Wednesday passed part of a budget plan for state government.

If it also passes the House and is signed into law, it would be the first real budget Illinois has had since 20-15. But that’s a big “if.”

Deana Rutherford

While the state's budget impasse continues, activists from Chicago are demanding an end to it through a 200 mile march. Today, a group from Fair Economy Illinois set out on a 15 day walk from Chicago to Springfield. 

Heather Steans
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Both the Illinois House and Senate return to work in Springfield today. Just over two weeks remain before the annual legislative session is scheduled to end.

WUIS

 

Comptroller Susana Mendoza says she’s not sure when school districts will receive state money owed to them for the rest of this school year. Mendoza’s office is in charge of paying the state’s bills.

The state of Illinois still owes local school districts nearly $1 billion to cover the current school year. But Mendoza, a Democrat, says she’s not sure when they’ll actually get the money.

 

Budget talk continues in Springfield — but our panel isn't getting its hopes up yet. And what's really holding up the sale of the Thompson Center? (Spoiler alert: It's complicated.)

Heather Steans
file / Office of Sen. Heather Steans

Illinois Senate Democrats are hoping to win bipartisan support for a partial government spending plan.

The proposal would release more than $800 million that’s been collected in special state accounts for higher education and human services, areas that have been particularly squeezed during the 22-month budget stalemate.

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.

Illinois has gone 667 days without a budget. Asked to grade his performance in office, Gov. Rauner gave himself an A for what he could do without legislative support.

Meanwhile, House Speaker Michael Madigan requested a meeting with Rauner — thought to be their first in nearly 6 months.

And between 1,500 and 2,000 women marched on the Capitol in support of Democratic policies and candidates, as House Democrats sought to highlight Rauner's contradictory positions on abortion rights.

Teresa Haley comments
Lee Milner / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

NPR Illinois hosted an Illinois Issues Forum on the state budget impasse. Illinois residents who have been directly impacted discussed the burden placed on their community. 

Women's March on Springfield
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The minimum wage, abortion rights, and the state budget were among the rallying points for women marching on the Illinois Statehouse Tuesday. The event put liberal issues — and Democratic candidates — front and center.

John Cullerton
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton says he and his colleagues will take up a partial government spending bill passed by the House earlier this month.

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he'd veto legislation seeking to protect the right to abortion in Illinois. Pro-abortion-rights activists say that's a change of position from what Rauner told them as a candidate in 2014.

Meanwhile, S&P and Moody's say the budget impasse, approaching 22 months, is hurting the credit worthiness of state universities.

Credit wikimedia commons

 

Democrats in the Illinois House of Representatives Thursday passed a plan to send more than $800 million to human services and universities. They call it a “lifeline” for programs facing catastrophe.

No Republicans joined them, saying a temporary fix just removes the urgency to enact a real budget. "The reality is we don’t do things around here without pressure. And so we need that pressure to get to a full budget,” said Rep. Steve Andersson (R-Geneva).

Illinois State capitol building in the fog / rain
Amanda Vinicky / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

As Illinois enters its 22nd month without a real budget, the state services most affected by the political fight include those that help victims of domestic violence.

Dusty Rhodes / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

The Grand Bargain is a package of interlocking legislation designed to break the budget impasse. How important is school funding to that deal? Important enough that leaders titled it Senate Bill One. Under the plan filed by Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), the state would freeze funding at current levels. Any additional dollars would be distributed based on each district’s demographics and unique needs, channeling the bulk of the money toward low-income districts.

State Week: Budget Battles Continue In Courts

Mar 24, 2017

It seems there more budget action in Illinois courts than in the Statehouse. After getting just one paycheck since last summer, state legislators are finally getting paid.

Grand Bargain GOP
senators via ILGA.gov / Rauner by Brian Mackey/NPR Illinois

Ten Republican senators voted for at least one bill in the grand bargain. We asked all of them about Gov. Bruce Rauner's role in stopping them from going further.

Gov. Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has supported a lawsuit to keep state workers getting paid. But he’s refused to extend that support to a similar case brought by human service contractors.

The governor was recently asked to answer this question: Why treat state employees as superior to employees of human service providers?

RAUNER: "Inside government, those folks are working every day, and they should be paid. They should have a continuing appropriation.”

MACKEY: “But human service workers are working every day, too.”

Chance the Rapper critiques Gov. Bruce Rauner's job performance, the governor alleges a conspiracy among Democrats, and the Appellate Court gives AFSCME a temporary reprieve in its contract fight.

Lisa Madigan at Inauguration 2015
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Attorney General Lisa Madigan is taking her case over state employee pay to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Gov. Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Governor Bruce Rauner is accusing three of Illinois’ top Democrats of “coordinating” to shut down state government. All three deny the charge.

A green dentist chair
Liz West / CC by 2.0 / Flickr

Dr. Ronald Lynch runs a family dentistry in Jacksonville. He says approximately 20 percent of his patients are state workers. Because Illinois is still running with no budget, the state has not been paying its employees’ health bills on time — and the delays are growing.

As Illinois enters its 21st month without a real budget, several questions occupy observers of state government: Is the state Senate's "grand bargain" dead? If so, who killed it? Where do we go from here? And has anyone heard from the Illinois House of Representatives?

John Cullerton
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois Senate’s so-called grand bargain was put on hold Wednesday. After months of negotiations and a deadline from their own caucus leader, Senate Republicans say they aren't quite ready to vote.

Democrats blame the last-minute withdrawal on interference by Gov. Bruce Rauner. 

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

City governments across Illinois are asking to have their state funding passed along automatically. It’s the latest consequence of Illinois’ 20-month budget stalemate.

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