Only 51 percent of black adults reported having some form of work in Illinois.View Report
The state government owes the City Water, Light and Power of Springfield $3.5 million on past-due utility bills for state offices. The past-due utility bills are just one part of Illinois’ more than $14.3 billion bill backlog.
The odds Illinois continues without a budget until 2018 increase sharply if nothing passes before the end of May
Despite Illinois’ severe financial problems, less than 3 percent of bills passed by the 99th General Assembly and enacted into law have fiscal notes.
House Speaker Mike Madigan and House Minority Leader Jim Durkin used shell bills to avoid the March 31 deadline for bills to pass out of committee. Madigan passed 936 shell bills. Durkin passed 528. Meanwhile, thousands of substantive bills died without so much as a committee hearing.
Though Illinois lawmakers leave without addressing the current fiscal impasse, it’s been 16 years since the General Assembly last balanced the budget.
Illinois has racked up $14 billion in unpaid bills.
Illinois House Bill 3868 would give Gov. Bruce Rauner the authority to trim costs and reorder the state’s spending priorities to balance the budget.
Proposed legislation to commemorate former President Barack Obama’s birthday as a state holiday in Illinois would have cost taxpayers nearly $20 million in state personnel expenses and lost productivity.
Springfield lawmakers passed a ceremonial resolution March 8 congratulating the Chicago Cubs on winning the 2016 World Series. But that pat on the back doesn’t make up for the adversarial relationship politicians have held with the Cubs and other professional sports franchises in Chicago.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is seeking a court order to stop paychecks to state employees. Many speculate she is trying to force the General Assembly into a budget deal – one that would be bad for Illinoisans. But the General Assembly doesn’t have to be bullied into a bad budget deal. It can pass an appropriations measure to fund state worker payrolls and keep government from shutting down.