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Fiscal year 2016 is upon us and Illinois still doesn’t have a budget.  Will Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner ever reach an agreement with legislative Democrats?  How quickly will state government grind to a halt?  And who will take the blame?  WBEZ public radio reporter Tony Arnold joins the panel to talk about that and more.

Lisa Madigan at Inauguration 2015
Brian Mackey/WUIS

 A stalemate that's left Illinois without a budget has taken a new political turn. It comes as the Attorney General is asking a court to determine what bills Illinois can pay when the state has no spending authority.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has been feuding with Democrats, especially Speaker of the Illinois House Michael Madigan. Now Rauner's taking aim at the Speaker's daughter, Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

netflix.com

It's time for this week's episode of The Scene with Scott Faingold of the Illinois Times and me, take a listen:

Events discussed this week include:

Claudia Quigg headshot
mattpenning.com / WUIS / Illinois Issues

Most of us extend love with the expectation that our kind deeds will come back to us.  If we do a friend a favor, we assume that friend will be there in our hour of need.  If we offer to cover a duty for a coworker, we know we can count on the same support when we need a back-up.

But this summer, four of my grandchildren are learning a small lesson about giving with no hope for return.  They’re fostering a pair of kittens from their local Humane Society.

Brian Mackey/WUIS

A temporary budget to keep Illinois government operating in a new fiscal year has failed in the House, but one is still alive because the Senate OK'd an identical measure.  

Democrats battling with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner put up a $2.3 billion, one-month spending plan Wednesday for the state to limp along during the impasse. It fell four votes short of the 71 needed for approval. 

Illinois Issues: The Next Pension Time Bomb

Jul 2, 2015

Illinois has more than $100 billion in pension debt. So far, attempts to fix it have been mostly illegal.

flickr/dborman

Doctors who care for patients on Medicaid, drug treatment counselors, and probation officers could all go without pay because Illinois is without a new budget. But elected officials will keep getting their paychecks.

Without a budget, Illinois loses its spending authority -- much of it anyway. Some spending is built in by law, automatic: like paying off debt, sending municipalities their cut of the income tax, and lawmakers' pay.

Amanda Vinicky/WUIS

Illinois began its new fiscal year on July 1. But if you work for the state or rely on state services, there is no reason to celebrate.

Lisa Ryan/WUIS

Almost 7,000 people on Facebook have "liked" a page titled 'Save the Illinois State Museum.' Supporters have planned a rally for July 21st.  On the 13th – concerned members of the public will meet at the capitol in Springfield and urge legislators and the Governor to keep the Illinois State Museum open. Governor Bruce Rauner has proposed closing the state’s main museum – as well as other museum facilities in several other cities, including Dickson Mounds.

SJ-R

Tim Landis, Business Editor of the State Journal-Register, talks about 3 downtown Springfield building projects.  Historic items were discovered during the work being performed by Rick Lawrence, whose ultimate plan is for apartments, offices, restaurants, etc.

Also, Magro Meats and Produce is looking to open this fall in the former Eagle grocery store along Stevenson Drive. 

Brian Mackey/WUIS

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner's budget director says a one-month spending plan proposed by Democrats is ``unconstitutional'' because it would lead to an unbalanced budget. 

Hobson & Young midshot with Here & Now logo
Kalman Zabarsky / Boston University Photography

Recent program cuts necessitate the movement of some programs to replace what was broadcast.  Additionally, the listener survey indicates some programs may benefit from new time slots. 

Michael Madigan
Brian Mackey / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Illinois is officially without a state budget -- the deadline to pass one came and went any movement toward a compromise. Lawmakers are poised to vote on a temporary version Wednesday.

Campus Smoking Ban Goes Into Effect

Jun 30, 2015

College and Universities will begin to implement a smoke free ban on Illinois campuses on July 1st.

Colleges and Universities will begin to implement a smoke free ban on Illinois campuses on July 1st.

The American Lung Association has been working with Illinois college officials to pass the Smoke Free Campus Act. The legislation was signed last year.

People age 19 to 25 have the highest rate of tobacco use for current users.

The Lung Association says there is no safe level to exposure and that smoking is a health hazard.

WUIS

Kenny Winslow will remain as the City of Springfield's Police Chief, Mayor Jim Langfelder announced Tuesday. 

Winslow has been in the role since his appointment in 2013. 

Hearings were held in all the city's wards as the new administration considered other applicants.

The following news release was sent from the Mayor's office:

Brian Mackey/WUIS

Even if Illinois lawmakers and the governor can't reach a budget deal by Wednesday, state employees have another two weeks before they really need to worry about being paid. That's when their first paychecks of the new fiscal year are set to be issued.  But there's confusion over whether they'll get money after that point, or not.

An email sent by Gov. Rauner takes a reassuring tone.

"State employees will be paid for their work --- and I will do everything within my power to ensure you don’t miss a single payroll," he writes.

But will the money come through?

Frank Lloyd Wright Trust

Freelance travel writer Mary Galligan says if creativity interests you, Oak Park should be on your destination list. 

The city just outside of Chicago boasts former homes of Frank Lloyd Wright and Ernest Hemingway and museums devoted to each. 

Her article in the Illinois Times showcases famous residents and their respective careers.  She also explains the best ways to get to Oak Park and visit the sites.

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

It's seemingly been weeks since Rauner, a Republican, meet with all four of the legislative leaders. Since what's believed to have been the last time they were all together, the governor began airing ads that attack Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan. The state has also gotten a lot closer to a partial shutdown since then. They all got together yesterday.

Illinois State Capitol Dome in clouds
Brian Mackey / WUIS - Illinois Issues

Illinois legislators will return to Springfield Tuesday, leaving them one last day to get a budget deal in order. This year's spending plan expires at midnight on June 30. Not only is there no long-term agreement, there's no sign of a provisional one either.

Bruce Rauner at Inauguration 2015
Brian Mackey/WUIS

A number of recall petitions from people dissatisfied with Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner are circulating on social media platforms, but these efforts do not meet the legal requirements for recall in the state.

SEIU TV ad
SEIU Healthcare Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s political ads have had the airwaves to themselves for two weeks. But as of Monday they’re getting some competition.

Kimberly Conner headshot
Rachel Otwell / WUIS - Illinois Issues

Springfield may not be known as a particularly cinematic town, but it is home to its share of film-makers. Kimberly Conner is one of them. Her movies include Jump In and This Life Ain’t Pretty have been critically acclaimed and nationally distributed. Conner’s movies have black stars and explore issues like love, forgiveness, and the personal struggle of dealing with disease – like AIDS.

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / WUIS

Illinois begins this week without a new budget --- though one is due by Wednesday. Last week, Governor Bruce Rauner revised his plan. He's now offering Chicago and other municipalities some pension relief.

Early on, Gov. Rauner made clear that his willingness to talk about the budget is contingent on what he calls "structural change."  Since the end of May, that has included five items:

1) a property tax freeze  (combined with changes he says will lower costs for municipalities but which unions see as an attack)

State Week: Countdown To (Fiscal) New Year

Jun 26, 2015
WUIS

The week began with a complete budget proposal — albeit billions out of balance — awaiting action by the governor. It ended with a near-total veto. Only money for pre-school, elementary and secondary education was spared the knife. But could that actually worsen the state bidget standoff?

Thursday was not the day to switch places with Chris Grundler.

Grundler, the director of the Office of Transportation and Air Quality at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, was in charge of the EPA’s one in-person hearing about proposed changes to U.S. ethanol policy.

WUIS/Lisa Ryan

Tuesday is "deadline day" for state government.  But one deadline is being given a month-long extension.

June 30th is the final day of the fiscal year; after which, the current budget expires. It's also the final day of the state's contract with its largest public employees union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Prisoner Review Board
Brian Mackey / WUIS

One of the longest-serving inmates in an Illinois prison was granted parole Thursday. Joseph Bigsby was a teenager in 1973 when he shot and killed a Chicago police officer.

https://www.facebook.com/AJWFp

It's time for your weekly dose in local arts and culture. Scott Faingold and I are at it once again, this week with quite the array of happenings and cultural picks... Please, have a listen, we insist:

   Events discussed this week include:

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / WUIS

Illinois is without a spending plan, with less than a week until the new fiscal year begins. Democrats in the General Assembly approved one, but Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed nearly the whole thing Thursday.


Overhead view of CWLP and the Dallman Station.
Google Maps

Local conservationists have long been concerned with various issues surrounding the utility City, Water, Light, And Power and the effect it has on Lake Springfield and the environment. Illinois is one of the most coal-producing states, but even the Springfield mayor is pushing for changes.

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