state budget

A southern Illinois senior center is becoming a victim of the budget stalemate, at least temporarily.

As of Friday, the senior center in Chester is being forced to close until a new budget deal is approved.

A Cook County judge's ruling Tuesday that state employees won't receive their salaries during a budget impasse adds a new wrinkle as the Republican Governor and Democratic-led legislature struggle to reach an agreement.

State workers have good reason to worry about their checking accounts. A judge says only employees deemed "essential" can get paid during the impasse, and then only at $7.25 an hour, the federal minimum wage. With no imminent resolution between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic legislators, there's no telling how long paychecks will be on hold. But there are options.

Zach Bernard

New ways to tackle Illinois' underfunded pension systems could be emerging as Governor Bruce Rauner appears to be backing away from his plan.

Illinois State Senator Chapin Rose says procurement rules put in place to address corruption during the Blagojevich era are too top-heavy and bureaucratic.

Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka's office is launching a new app to provide easier access to state payment and fund information.

The Illinois Legislature has approved an approximately $35.7 billion budget that Democrats acknowledge is ``incomplete.''

New data suggests just how big a hit most school districts would take if Illinois' income tax rate rolls back as scheduled at the end of the year.

Governor Pat Quinn says income tax revenue for 2013 will top forecasts by $1.3 billion. He says he'll put the money toward the billions the state owes in unpaid bills.

The governor's office says the money was a one-time windfall resulting from businesses and individuals selling assets or taking early dividends in anticipation of higher federal tax rates.

Governor Pat Quinn's tax returns show he made more money last year but gave less to charity in 2012.

Governor Pat Quinn's income is up, now that state employees and officials are no longer taking furlough days.  Quinn earned $177,412. That's nearly $5,000 more pay than he earned in 2011 when he was also governor.

Illinois' high court says it needs more money to make sure criminals on probation are being properly monitored.

Illinois Public Radio

The state agency responsible for licensing doctors - and disciplining bad ones - says budget shortfalls forced it to lay off 18 of its 26 investigators.

A Cook County judge has ruled that Illinois Governor Pat Quinn must pay the 2011 wage increases promised in a contract with most of the state's union workers.        

Judge Richard Billik ruled that the state must pay what it can now of the $60 million still owed to members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.    The remainder can be paid later  at 7% interest.     AFSCME  Council 31 Executive Director Henry Bayer says the   ruling is a strong affirmation of the union's position that employees must be paid for the wages they are owed.


A southern Illinois judge is barring Governor Pat Quinn from going forward with his plan to close two prisons, at least for now.


A hearing over the fight to close several Illinois correctional facilities is scheduled for Cook County Circuit Court this week.


A ceiling has collapsed at the Vandalia prison in Southern Illinois forcing administrators there to move prisoners.

Judge Issues TRO for Illinois Prison Closures

Sep 4, 2012

A judge in southern Illinois has issued an order temporarily prohibiting Governor Pat Quinn from closing correctional facilities.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is confident that his veto of a proposed gambling expansion in Illinois will stand.

Governor Pat Quinn won't launch his so-called grassroots campaign on pension reform until the middle of next month.

The population is on its way down at the Jacksonville Developmental Center.

Prison Profile: Vandalia Correctional Center

Aug 13, 2012

Overcrowding in the Illinois prison system has officials putting inmates in some rather unusual places.  Last week we heard from inmates recently released from Vienna prison who lived in an administration building that has only 7 toilets but is housing 600 inmates.   Illinois Public Radio’s WBEZ in Chicago has been investigating prison conditions for several months.

Hundreds of unionized workers at two Illinois state agencies will be getting the pay raises that Governor Pat Quinn canceled last year.

Governor Pat Quinn is stepping up his campaign to change the pension plan for public school teachers and state employees.


Searches of inmates' cells at the Menard Correctional Center turned up 21 weapons this week.

Friends of Giant City

Illinois' State Parks need more than a half a billion dollars in deferred maintenance.  Lawmakers concluded the spring legislative session without agreeing on a means to help the Department of Natural Resources address the needs of the park system.  WSIU's Eileen Waldron takes a closer look at Giant City State Park in southern Illinois that is in serious trouble. 

Illinois schools would lose $210 million under the budget approved by legislators last week, leaving the state even further away from its goal of providing a basic ``foundation level'' of funding for every student.

End of Session Review: Amanda Vinicky

Jun 1, 2012

Illinois lawmakers adjourned their spring session early Friday morning, nearly and hour and a half past their midnight deadline.   In a frenzy of last minute activity they approved a new state budget and authorized a massive expansion of gambling.  But they're not finished at the capitol.  The collapse of a pension overhaul means the General Assembly will probably return to Springfield this summer.  Illinois Public Radio State House Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky takes a closer look.

Creative_Commons: by mhowry on Flickr

Illinois legislators adjourned their spring session early Friday Morning -- 90 minutes past their midnight deadline.

Illinois lawmakers continue to wrestle with the state's soaring pension costs.  The General Assembly is set to adjourn Thursday, yet it remains unclear which, if any, of the various proposals to reduce pension costs will pass.  Unions are fighting efforts that would reduce benefits for state workers, university employees, and public school teachers.   But many lawmakers, including House Speaker Michael Madigan, say an overhaul is necessary.  They point to Illinois' $83 billion unfunded pension liability that continues to grow.  Madigan talks with Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky about

The planned closure of the Tamms Super Maximum Security Prison is predicted to have a nearly 33-million dollar impact on the region’s economy.

State of IL

Governor Pat Quinn says the Illinois House's budget proposal cuts too deep into education spending.