Jamey Dunn

Illinois Issues Editor/ Past Due Blog


Read Jamey's "Past Due" blog.

No other publication explains Illinois as well as Illinois Issues.  No other publication has the audience of Illinois Issues.

Illinois Issues magazine is dedicated to providing fresh, provocative analysis of public policy in Illinois. With a special focus on Illinois government and politics, the magazine pays close attention to current trends and legislative issues, and examines the state's quality of life.

The magazine also engages its readers in dialogue, enhancing the quality of public discourse in Illinois. A not-for-profit monthly magazine published by the University of Illinois at Springfield, Illinois Issues also sponsors and promotes other appropriate public affairs educational activities.

In continuous publication since 1975 by the University of Illinois at Springfield (formerly Sangamon State University), Illinois Issues monthly magazine is known as Illinois' leading public affairs periodical. We accept that honor, and we work hard with each issue to live up to it.

More than 15,000 Illinoisans read the magazine every month. Our readers tell us they rely on Illinois Issues to keep up with Illinois government and politics. Plus, we publish an annual up-to-date directory called the Roster of State Government Officials — a resource our readers find invaluable year-round.

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After the Mississippi River flooded four years ago, state and federal authorities offered buyouts to affected homeowners. Now the state budget impasse has left some of those deals in limbo.

Lilong Dolrani

When the state finally has a budget, who will be left out?

The State Legislative Leaders Foundation

Gov. Bruce Rauner and the four legislative leaders were supposed to meet this week for the first time since the end of the spring legislative session. Instead that meeting was postponed until December 1.

In this week's installment of Past Due, Sean Crawford sat down with Illinois Issues editor Jamey Dunn for an update on the budget impasse and how the delayed meeting could affect negotiations.


Illinois Department of Agriculture

Musical acts for the state fair were paid up front while the artist who sculpted the fair’s iconic butter cow is still waiting for her check. Meanwhile, an agency that helps survivors of sexual assault is in danger of closing as it waits for funding. 

Illinois Issues/WUIS

On Tuesday, voters in Ohio considered whether to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana use. It would have created a new provision in the state's constitution that allowed only ten farms to grow the plant legally. That plan had its critics, and the measure failed. Many experts have their eye on Ohio - as it serves as an example of Midwestern residents trying to take on the legalization issue that has swept Colorado and the West Coast.

Paul Sableman

Housing authorities spent on pricey dinners at training junkets and retirement bonuses for employees while public housing complexes in the state’s poorest county fell into serious disrepair.

Illinois has hit a cash flow problem and will not be ably to make its monthly pension payment in November and possibly December. The state's inability to cover its expenses has some asking the question: will Illinois run out of money?

Charles Williams

After the state eliminated a grant that supports psychiatric care, providers worry patients may be cut off from medication and other treatment.

Illinois government continues limping through its partial shutdown.  This week, the Illinois State Museum was shuttered, the secretary of state announced he won’t be reminding you when to renew your license plates, and at least one state facility has had the water shut off.  Could a revolt among rank-and-file legislators break the stalemate?  Brian Mackey talks about that and more with Amanda Vinicky, Jamey Dunn of Illinois Issues, and Natasha Korecki of the Politico Illinois Playbook.

A hospital room
Bill McChesney

Many Illinois nurses are nearing retirement. Baby Boomers in the state are also aging and may need more care. Will there be enough nurses to meet the demand?

Illinois' budget situation remains much the same as it has been for months - no agreement between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and Democratic legislative leaders, court orders maintain much of state spending, many social services are going belly-up, and the future is uncertain.  In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is still pushing for a property tax increase in Cook County to help solve the city's own budget woes.  WBEZ's Tony Arnold joins the panel.

As the third month Illinois has gone without a state budget nears its end, some programs have recently gotten funding. Many other are still waiting and starting to feel the pinch. 


Public employee and retiree health care benefits may be the next casualty of the state budget impasse.

construction zone
dmitri_66 / flickr.com/dmitri66

Illinois residents may be aware of the state’s budget deficit and the severe underfunding of its public pension systems. But a new report from the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs identifies the state’s future infrastructure funding needs as a so-called third deficient.

Stateline, a news service from the Pew Charitable Trusts, has an interesting interview with outgoing Illinois Auditor General William Holland. 

road construction
Gary Brown via Flickr (gsbrown99)

The lack of a state budget puts some local projects in jeopardy--including road work. 


Illinois' leaders have yet to present a plan for a balanced budget. The longer they wait, the harder the task will be. 

While the fight over the state’s budget got most of the attention, lawmakers did approve several bills during the regular legislative session. Democratic leaders put a hold on sending much of the legislation lawmakers approved to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk directly after the spring session ended. But as of press time, all of the bills on this list had been sent to the governor.

As white-nose syndrome continues to spread in Illinois, new research offers promise for combatting the fatal bat disease.

White-nose syndrome is caused by the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans (Pd). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates it has killed at least 5.7 million to 6.7 million bats since it was first found in New York in 2006.

The month of July has come and gone and there is still no agreement between the Legislature and Governor Rauner on a state budget for the current fiscal year.  Kent Redfield, emeritus professor of Political Science at UIS, joins the panel this week.


The state fair in Springfield and the Du Quoin State Fair are scheduled to begin in August. But if there is no state budget in place, it's unclear how entertainment and vendors would be paid.


Gov. Bruce Rauner is moving ahead with plans to hold the Illinois State Fair next month, despite the fact that there is no budget in place to pay for it.  

It has been a big year for Illinois Issues. Last spring, the magazine merged with Springfield NPR affiliate WUIS. The combination brought with it several opportunities.

With still no agreement on a state budget for the fiscal year, questions remain over even a temporary spending plan for the next month.  However, state workers are still receiving paychecks while awaiting a ruling from the state Supreme Court.  Ed Cross, Capitol Reporter for WAND-TV joins the panel.


Illinois Issues editor Jamey Dunn talks with University of Illinois Chicago political science professor Dick Simpson about Chicago's budget situation and why it matters even if you don't live there.

Steve Brown and Michael Madigan at press conference in statehouse blue room.
Amanda Vinicky / WUIS - Illinois Issues

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.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, KFF State Health

News Analysis - It’s no secret that many Illinois Democrats have been reluctant to throw their full support behind President Barack Obama’s signature health care law. And Republicans at the state level are not going to get behind a law that their party counterparts in the U.S. House have voted dozens of times to repeal. As a result, those seeking insurance in the state have been handed a mixed bag of policy.

The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, KFF State Health

 Following today's ruling  from the U.S. Supreme Court, Illinois residents who bought health insurance under the affordable care act will get to keep tax credits that cut the cost of their plans. 

Illinois Department of Revenue

Almost every time House Speaker Michael Madigan speaks to the press lately, he says that the state's estimated $6 billion deficit cannot be addressed through cuts alone.

WSEC-TV Springfield. Host Bernie Schoenburg (SJR) and guests Jamey Dunn (IL Issues) and Charlie Wheeler (UIS) discuss the latest on the IL State Budget.

CapitolView is a production of WSEC-TV/PBS Springfield, Network Knowledge.