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.

cityofchicago.org

Chicago Public School's fiscal problems continue. Meanwhile, some universities are trying to figure out how to keep their doors open without state funding. 

For this week’s Past Due, Jamey Dunn sat down with Sean Crawford to give an update about the budget impact on education in Illinois. 

With the state budget impasse ongoing, lack of money continues to affect Illinois colleges and universities as well as Chicago Public Schools.  Chris Mooney, director of the University of Illinois' Institute of Government and Public Affairs, joins the panel.

Gov. Bruce Rauner says he wants to get the state out of legal agreements called consent decrees. The deals are a big part of the reason the government is still operating without a budget; they also impact the lives of thousands of Illinois residents. But unless you are affected by one, you've probably never heard of them. 

flickr/401(K) 2012

A new analysis found that Illinois lost out on millions of dollars when it sold bonds last week.

Martin Luby, with the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs, compared the recent bond sale to one in 2006, when Illinois had a much better credit rating. This week for Past Due, Jamey Dunn talked with Luby about his report. 

flickr/ TaxCredits.net

  A new analysis found that Illinois lost out on millions of dollars when it sold bonds last week. 

flickr/401(K) 2012

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s budget office released three-year budget projections today. According to the estimate, if Illinois remains on its current fiscal path, the sate’s backlog of unpaid bills would swell to nearly $25 billion by Fiscal Year 2019.

If that were to happen, the backlog would be equal to nearly three quarters of the state’s operating funds.

flickr/ Photo Monkey

The monthly Flash Index provides a snapshot of the Illinois economy. In December, that picture showed the slowest economic growth the state has seen since March of 2013.

This week, a look back at the past year in Illinois state government and politics.  WUIS News Director Sean Crawford and Illinois Issues Editor Jamey Dunn join the panel.

Flickr user: Matt Turner

More than 200 new laws will go into effect in Illinois on January 1.

Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Illinois got a new governor in 2015 but not a budget. In terms of state government, a lot has—and hasn’t — happened in the past year.

wnij

Years of mismanagement led to the state’s current fiscal crisis. A recent report from the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA) suggests changes to the budgeting process that could help prevent future disasters. 

flickr/Chad Elliott

Cash-strapped counties in Illinois are trying to call in old fines for offenses like speeding tickets. Some of their efforts have been criticized because the cases they are trying to collect on are two or three decades old.

This Sunday is the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The amendment banned slavery in America. 

To commemorate the event, The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum will display a copy of the amendment signed by Lincoln. 

The State Legislative Leaders Foundation

A group of human service providers is calling on lawmakers and Gov. Bruce Rauner to not only pass a budget for the current fiscal year, but also approve a plan for next fiscal year. 

flickr/D.L.

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?

Pill bottle
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. 

flickr

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. 

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