Stories from intrepid reporters attending the Illinois Press Foundation Journalism Workshop at Eastern Illinois University
New year resolutions come on Jan 1, but on July 1, Illinois General Assembly gets a little more. New bills, laws, and many many arguments. July 1 is the beginning of the fiscal year and end on June 30th so much like a regular year, they have to craft a budget for the next 365 days, when Illinois didn’t have a budget for the previous year.
Governor Bruce Rauner and the Democratic party have been butting heads since the budget issue and as July 1 approaches stakes are high and nerves are scattered. Trying to iron out a budget that begins to cover education and social services which is affecting hundreds of Illinoisans everyday.
John Patterson, a spokesman for Senate President John Cullerton said Rauner wants to implement a temporary budget.
“Governor (Rauner) wants a stop-gap budget,” Patterson said “it will spell relief for your schools”
Even though this budget is in mind Rauner and Democrats are still worlds apart on agreeing on a permanent budget for the 2017 fiscal year.
Patterson said “Illinois is the first state in the United States without a budget for a year.” Due to Republicans and Democrats not being able to agree, negative precedent has damaged Illinoisans applying for in state Universities.
Not having a budget has diminished the opportunity of adults from a low socio economic background to attend Universities or even college in general in the state. Although the stop-gap budget isn’t ideal it decreases some of the fears of not being able to go to school.