budget cuts

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Community input played a role in keeping the DeKalb Municipal Band operating at normal capacity for now.

The DeKalb City Council held a special meeting recently where they addressed potential budget cuts for the next year. That included the possibility of reduced funding for the DeKalb Municipal Band.

DeKalb Alderman David Jacobson says the band currently gets $60,000 annually when they usually only spend $50,000. He says the city agreed to cut just the $10,000 difference during the special meeting.

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A recent report shows Illinois is facing a teacher shortage. But changes to teachers’ pensions — including cutbacks on the state’s share of contributions — spells uncertainty for anyone going into the profession.

  

When the Illinois General Assembly approved a budget last summer, they also agreed to cut back on about $500 million to the state's pension system. This might sound like a good idea if the money is allocated to pay for other needs in the immediate future. For teachers, however, it means the state might not be able to cover their pensions. 

"Window" By Flickr User Sam Howzit / (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois officials waited more than five months to alert dozens of domestic violence programs that their funding had been eliminated, an omission that forced layoffs and other cuts.

Officials providing services to victims of domestic violence tell The Associated Press they were unaware that about $9 million in state funding was left out of the stopgap plan that expired in December. They learned about it in a Dec. 16 letter from Human Services Secretary James Dimas.  

A group of Democratic state lawmakers are suing to get their paychecks more quickly. They've gone without compensation since May 31.

After nearly a year-and-a-half without a full budget, Illinois is taking months and months to pay its bills.

Earlier this year, Comptroller Leslie Munger said she was putting legislative pay at the back of the line with every other state IOU.

Democrats, like Rep. Emanuel Chris Welch, from Hillside, say that's just a way to help push Gov. Bruce Rauner's controversial agenda. And that, he says, is unconstitutional.

Illinois Valley Community College is turning to locals to preserve an aging dairy barn on the south end of campus.

The LaSalle News-Tribune reports the structure is in need of between $66,000 and $92,000 worth of repairs.

Officials say it's difficult to justify renovation when the college is already making extensive cuts.  However, trustee Laurie Bonucci says demolishing the barn at the same time IVCC started an agricultural program is poor timing. 

"Window" By Flickr User Sam Howzit / (CC BY 2.0)

A new survey of Illinois human service providers shows nearly two-thirds have cut programs because of the state budget standoff, leaving almost 1 million people without services.

The United Way of Illinois released results Wednesday of a survey of 429 agencies that have contracts with the state. Illinois owes those waiting to be paid an average of $525,000.

The percentage of agencies that have made cuts was up from 48 percent in January.

U Of I Budget Using FY 2015 Figure As Guideline

May 10, 2016
Wikimedia Commons

  University of Illinois Trustees will soon vote on a budget for the next fiscal year, without knowing how much, if any, state funding, to expect - due to the ongoing budget impasse in Springfield. Normally, the U of I would use the current budget year as a guide when planning for the next one.

But since there’s been no budget, Chief Financial Officer Walter Knorr says trustees will use the state’s appropriation for the previous budget year -- FY 2015 -- as a guide when they meet in Springfield next week. 

Tony Arnold/WBEZ

With no state budget, a program that provided funding to bus Chicago kids to visit their incarcerated mothers stalled months ago.

 

To Pearl Mullen, who’s taking care of her grandchildren while her daughter is in prison, it’s meant her grandkids haven’t seen their mother in four months. Tony Arnold has been keeping in touch with Mullen over the last few months, and found out there’s a new bus program starting up. 

Rich Egger / WIUM/Illinois Public Radio

The state of Illinois has cut funding to higher education each year for more than a decade.  Those cuts, combined with declining enrollment, will cause some people to lose their jobs at Western Illinois University at the Macomb and Quad Cities campuses.

Kankakee Community College

Many public Illinois colleges and universities are hard-hit by the budget stalemate. The state isn’t mandated to fund higher education the way it must pay for kindergarten through high school.

Kankakee Community College made cuts earlier in the year due to a continued decline in enrollment. Officials cut down on its award-winning sustainability program and decided to stop operating its public radio station.

WUIS

Low-income, working parents are once again fighting for help from the state for childcare.

Since July, Illinois drastically reduced who's eligible for the state's daycare assistance program. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner made the change, he says, to save money.

For nearly two hours Tuesday at a hearing in Springfield, daycare providers and parents -- like Chante Morrison -- pressed Rauner to cancel the rollbacks.

Morrison is a single mother of two girls from Galesburg.

"I wanna work; my children need to know that you have to work to succeed," Morrison said.

Political Leaders Urge Rauner To Backtrack On Amtrak Cuts

Jul 29, 2015
Brian Mackey / WUIS

A group of downstate political leaders is urging Governor Bruce Rauner to backtrack on proposed cuts to Amtrak.

Members of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association held a news conference in Springfield to warn of possible cuts. Joining them was State Representative Don Moffitt, whose district includes the Amtrak line through Princeton, Galesburg and Macomb. 

Moffitt says Amtrak currently serves a lot of college students in western Illinois and across the state. He says if passenger rail service is ever going to be self-supporting, it must be on-time and provide options. 

It's the deadline day in Illinois. If a meeting yesterday between Governor Bruce Rauner and legislative leaders is any indication, they're most likely not going to make it.

It's been weeks since Rauner, a Republican, meet with all four of the legislative leaders. Since the last time it was believed they were all together, the governor began airing ads that attack Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan. 

The state also got a lot closer to a partial shutdown since then.

twitter.com/BruceRauner

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner received a mixed reception Monday during a southern Illinois stop meant to build public support for his legislative agenda.

Union protesters jeered the Republican at a Belleville farm market. It was Rauner’s last rally before the General Assembly returns to pass a budget for the fiscal year beginning next month.

Rauner reiterated his call for legislators to endorse several pro-business reforms he says are critical for the state's future before he will consider a spending plan approved by Democrats.

Flickr user 401(K) 2012 / "Money" (CC v. 2.0)

Governor Bruce Rauner met with members of his cabinet Wednesday. Rauner says the heads of state agencies should prepare for the “very real possibility” that Illinois won’t have a budget on time.

“I wish I could sit here and tell you, ‘We’ll get there for sure.’ I can’t say that,” Rauner said. “And so that puts pressure on all of you, and I apologize. … But we’ve got to prepare to run the government as best we can with the resources we have."

Flickr user TheeErin / "Good Read" (CC BY 2.0)

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner says he plans to raise eligibility levels for senior citizens in Illinois’s Community Care program. He says it’s necessary to address a budget Democrats passed without sufficient revenue. 

The program helps keep seniors out of nursing homes by providing in-home health care, which allows them to remain independent.

Gerardo Cardenas of AARP says the plan is short-sighted. He says Medicaid will be forced to cover the cost of nursing homes.  

WUIS

Illinois leaders have another month to settle on a new budget plan. But, given their failure to reach a deal by Sunday's initial deadline, Gov. Bruce Rauner says he must take immediate steps to manage state spending.

Illinois will begin closing down a prison work camp in downstate Hardin County and lay off its 60 employees. A pair of youth prisons also mayclose. The Illiana Expressway won't go forward.

Flickr user Carl Drougge / "Räls och dimma, ett vinnande koncept" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois lawmakers are urging an increase in safety programs for rail operators. That’s despite the threat of state funding cuts to railroads.

A bipartisan pair of legislators say safety training is too important to be squeezed out of railway budgets, no matter what they're given by the state. They brought in Lou Jogmen, with the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, who says the state is especially at risk.

"Illinois remains in the higher realm of accidents and fatalities,” Logmen said. “Unfortunately, people aren't paying attention."

Flickr user 401(K) 2012 / "Money" (CC v. 2.0)

The Illinois House approved major portions of a new state budget, despite Republican opposition.

The Democrats’ budget includes funding many programs Gov. Bruce Rauner planned to cut, even though the state is short about $3 billion to pay for that spending. They say finding the matching revenue is a work in progress.

Republicans like Representative David Leitch from Peoria say it's an unbalanced budget. 

Higher Ed Leaders Share Thoughts On Budget Cuts

May 26, 2015
WNIJ

Higher education will see a funding cut next year, but Democrats want to lessen the impact compared to what the Republican governor called for.  

Governor Bruce Rauner suggested a more than 30 percent reduction. Democrats are proposing a 6.5 percent cut to universities. 

Republicans voted against the Democrats' measure in committee. GOP Representative Mark Batinick from Plainfield says the cost of doing business in Illinois is too high. That includes the business of higher education. 

State of Illinois

Illinois Democrats began to unveil their new state spending plan, which looks a lot like the current one. That's despite Illinois having billions of dollars less, thanks to a rollback of the income tax rate in January. 

Even before the details were made public, Gov. Bruce Rauner's office was out with a statement tearing into the proposal -- and its architect, House Speaker Michael Madigan.

WUIS

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has stayed out of the public eye for the past couple of days. But he's making his feelings on the budget known in an article published late Wednesday night.

The Illinois legislative session is scheduled to end  May 31, but Rauner is signaling he's prepared to keep it going much longer. Rauner -- the first Republican governor Illinois has had in a dozen years -- wrote a first-person opinion piece for The State Journal-Register in Springfield.

State Higher Education Budget Remains In ‘Balancing Act’

May 19, 2015
state of Illinois

Illinois lawmakers get back to work this week, with about two weeks left in their spring session to finalize a budget. 

The budget was also on Governor Bruce Rauner’s mind when he visited Southern Illinois University’s Carbondale campus last weekend to deliver a graduation speech.

"We are in that balancing act right now,” Rauner said. “Everybody's going to have to give a little bit. And that's the way the political process should work. We'll come up with bipartisan solutions that are really a compromise."

Illinois House Democrats continued to advance budget means that would restore funding to human services programs that the governor proposes cutting.

Republicans continue to question Democrats' motive. They say it's more of a partisan play than a real budget vote.

GOP Rep. Ron Sandack from Downers Grove complained that the measures did not go through typical budget procedures.

"We gotta get past this and actually engage in a budget process that's inclusive, bipartisan and actually moves the needle," Sandack said. "This does nothing but waste time."

Some students at Northern Illinois University took a stand in light of Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's proposed budget cuts to higher education. 

Rauner proposed a $400 million spending cut to state universities in February. NIU would have to take about a 31 percent cut as a result, which would amount to about $29 million. 

Rauner's Budget Cut Plan Takes Spectacular Fall

May 6, 2015
Flickr user Jim Bowen / "Illinois State Capitol" (CC BY 2.0)

Democrats in the Illinois House had a strong message for Governor Bruce Rauner: "We won't pass your budget." 

The new Republican Governor's plan reduces Illinois' budget by $6 billion for the next fiscal year. That means doing away with, or spending less, on everything from healthcare for the poor, autism services, and support for older foster kids.

No GOP legislator has actually introduced a bill that would precipitate those cuts. So, in a surprise move, the Democratic Speaker of the House, Michael Madigan, took it upon himself.

Lisa Ryan/WUIS

As Illinois faces major budget problems, everyone has a different answer for which services to cut and which taxes to raise.

Mike Nobis is worried. His commercial printing company has been in Quincy, Ill., for 108 years. He says he's struggling to compete with other companies, especially those across the border in Missouri.

The current Illinois sales tax does not cover most services. Nobis says that, if the sales tax is expanded to cover the printing industry, he might go out of business.

rampcil.org

A group of social service advocates is out with a report looking at how northern Illinois would be affected by Governor Bruce Rauner’s proposed budget cuts. The RAMP Center for Independent Living is one of the agencies involved in the Responsible Budget Coalition’s analysis. 

It’s not a direct budget cut for RAMP; it’s a proposal to reduce the number of clients served by its Home Services Program by making it more difficult to qualify.

Flickr user Daniel Borman / "Money, Money, Money" (CC BY 2.0)

A top official with Gov. Bruce Rauner's office confirms Illinois will restore $26 million in funding for a tobacco quitline, programs for autistic children and other social service grants. 

Projections show the state is taking in more money than expected.  While some cuts will remain, the windfall frees up money to reverse the cuts Rauner made with little warning on Good Friday, in early April.

The news has Joanne Guthrie-Gard beaming. 

"I'm ecstatic," she said. "I'm so excited."

Flickr user Jim Bowen / "Illinois State Capitol" (CC BY 2.0)

There's a hold-up over efforts to programs dealing with autism and drug prevention from ending. It seems like advocates should be celebrating.

After Gov. Bruce Rauner says he was forced to earlier this month suddenly pull $26 million worth of state grants, the Illinois Senate used the legislative version of searching under the couch cushions for change.

It may seem ridiculous to call $26 million "change," but in the scope of the state $32 billion budget, it's a small fraction. The plan with Senate Bill 274 is to gather the money from reserves in special state funds.

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