Illinois Budget Fight Could Affect 2018 Elections, State Universities

May 29, 2017

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Illinois lawmakers heard from Board of Elections officials and administrators of state universities Sunday about the consequences of not passing a budget. 

Computers at the Board of Elections are used to track voter registration, campaign donations, and which candidates are running for which offices.  Information Technology Director Kevin Turner said the board doesn't have enough working personal computers to handle candidate filings later this year.  

 "We seriously do not have enough equipment to get that done right now,” he said.

University officials also chimed in about the lack of funding.  Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas said there have been salary reductions and more than 100 layoffs.  He added that there was nothing left to cut without harming the quality of education. 

"We are on the verge of a complete collapse of the higher education system that is sending our intellectual capital out of the state," he said. 

Other universities also gave dire warnings: Chicago State says it would not be able to function this winter because it wouldn’t have heat or hot water. Southern Illinois University says that, even with a budget now, it would take 10 years to get its reserves back to where they were before the stalemate began. 

Lawmakers are scheduled to end their spring session Wednesday.