WBEZ | budget http://www.wbez.org/tags/budget Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Whose Budget Impasse is Worse, Illinois or Pennsylvania? http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-02-11/whose-budget-impasse-worse-illinois-or-pennsylvania-114814 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/IL v. PA_OZinOH_Flickr.jpg" alt="" /><p><p dir="ltr">Next week, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner will give his budget address eight months into the state&rsquo;s budget stalemate. It&rsquo;s a situation Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf found himself in early this week.</p><p dir="ltr">We examine why these two states haven&rsquo;t been able to agree on budget deals and tell us how we might be able to solve that problem.</p><p dir="ltr">Chris Mooney, Director of the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois and Joe McLaughlin, Director of the Institute of Public Affairs at Temple University in Philadelphia, explain some of the similarities and differences between the two states.</p></p> Thu, 11 Feb 2016 16:02:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-02-11/whose-budget-impasse-worse-illinois-or-pennsylvania-114814 Obama Administration Releases Budget Plan, but it’s Dead on Arrival http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2016-02-09/obama-administration-releases-budget-plan-it%E2%80%99s-dead-arrival-114778 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/0209_presidential-budget-624x429.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Although President Obama is ready to release his budget for the 2017 fiscal year, Congress has the final say on how the country&rsquo;s money can be spent.</p><p>While the legislature can allocate more or less money to certain suggestions in the $4 trillion plan, Republicans in control of the Senate and the House have already said they&rsquo;re not even considering the president&rsquo;s proposal. One sign of this: the White House budget director was not invited to present the proposal for the first time in 40 years.</p><p>The president&rsquo;s initiatives include a huge oil tax, Vice President Joe Biden&rsquo;s &ldquo;moonshot&rdquo; to cure cancer, education and employment, and Medicaid expansion.&nbsp;NPR White House correspondent&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/HorsleyScott?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor">Scott Horsley</a>&nbsp;speaks with&nbsp;<a href="http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2016/02/09/budget-plan-obama"><em>Here &amp; Now&rsquo;s </em></a>Jeremy Hobson to discuss what&rsquo;s next for the budget.</p></p> Tue, 09 Feb 2016 15:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2016-02-09/obama-administration-releases-budget-plan-it%E2%80%99s-dead-arrival-114778 Chicago Public Schools Announces 227 Layoffs http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-public-schools-announces-227-layoffs-114570 <p><p>&nbsp;</p><blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p dir="ltr" lang="en">Alvin Rider is one of hundreds laid off by <a href="https://twitter.com/ChiPubSchools">@ChiPubSchools</a> today. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CPS?src=hash">#CPS</a> says it has a 480M budget gap. <a href="https://twitter.com/WBEZ">@WBEZ</a> <a href="https://t.co/Y2dqExQz0f">pic.twitter.com/Y2dqExQz0f</a></p>&mdash; Yolanda Perdomo (@yolandanews) <a href="https://twitter.com/yolandanews/status/690631188864765953">January 22, 2016</a></blockquote><script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>&nbsp;</p><p>More than 200 administrative employees with&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Public Schools are being laid off and another 180 already-vacant positions will be closed, changes officials say will help save the nation&#39;s third-largest district $45.1 million a year as it grapples with deep financial problems.</p><p>The 227 layoffs announced Friday are in the central office and district officials say 57 of the workers affected will be eligible to reapply for 35 jobs. After the changes, the district will have cut 433 central office jobs overall since August through layoffs or closings of positions.</p><p>&quot;There&#39;s no doubt that these cuts are painful,&quot; schools CEO Forrest Claypool said in a statement Friday. &quot;However, with limited resources and a budget crisis not just this year but into the foreseeable future, <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/no-plan-c-chicago-schools-brace-budget-cuts-114118">we had no choice.&quot;</a></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/claypool-city-club.jpg" style="text-align: center; height: 275px; width: 400px;" title="Forrest Claypool is pictured following a speech he gave at a City Club of Chicago luncheon. This year, the district has a $480 million hole to fill in its current budget. Claypool says there will be no magical solution this year. (WBEZ/Becky Vevea)" /></p><p>Claypool&#39;s announcement comes the same week top <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-republicans-mull-cps-bankruptcy-plan-114531" target="_blank">Illinois Republicans called for a state takeover of the district</a>, a plan Democrats blasted. It&#39;s also&nbsp;a difficult time for the district: roughly 400,000 students with a $1.1 billion budget deficit, and the potential of midyear teacher layoffs.</p><p>The&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Teachers Union says layoffs in the middle of the year are a step in the wrong direction. The&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;district also is in the midst of contentious negotiations with the teachers <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-teachers-take-strike-vote-114117">on a new contract</a>.</p><div id="content-titles" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px; font-family: Georgia, serif; vertical-align: baseline;"><h1 style="margin: 0px 0px 4px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; font-size: 16px; line-height: 21px; font-family: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-20/could-chicago-public-schools-be-run-state-114536" target="_blank">►Could CPS Be Run by the State?</a></h1></div><p>Tough contract negotiations with the&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Teachers Union, which went on strike in 2012, are ongoing. Earlier this week, top Illinois Republicans called for a state takeover of the district because of the fiscal crisis, a plan Democrats and&nbsp;Chicagoschool officials blasted.</p><p>Claypool continued his criticism of the state&#39;s school funding formula, saying Friday that it&#39;s unfair to CPS. Attempts to get legislative help for the budget crisis have faltered.</p><p>Mayor Rahm Emanuel has said he wants to &quot;protect the classrooms&quot; from such cuts, but the teachers&#39; union said layoffs, even if they don&#39;t involve teachers, are a step in the wrong direction.</p></p> Fri, 22 Jan 2016 11:11:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-public-schools-announces-227-layoffs-114570 Chicago State University is Caught in the State's Budget Impasse http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-20/chicago-state-university-caught-states-budget-impasse-114537 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/CSU-Zol87-flickr.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We&rsquo;ve previously discussed <a href="http://www.wbez.org/tags/caught-middle" target="_blank">various services and programs affected by the budget impasse</a>. We&rsquo;ve even touched on how the stalemate affects elementary and high school education.&nbsp;</p><p>But what about its <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/chicago-state-declares-financial-emergency-eyes-job-cuts-114702">effect on higher education</a>?</p><p>The state&rsquo;s 12 public universities have been without state funding since July, but there&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/here-and-now/2016-01-21/illinois-budget-impasse-halts-student-scholarships-114551" target="_blank">one in particular that may be hit the hardest</a> -- Chicago State University.</p><p><strong>►</strong><strong>&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/rauner-talks-candidly-about-lack-investment-african-american-communities-114535">Rauner Talks Candidly About Lack of Investment in African-American Communities</a></strong></p><div><p>If there&rsquo;s no budget agreement by March, the school faces an uncertain future.</p><p>Paris Griffin, president of Chicago State&rsquo;s Student Government Association, recently led a march and rally to save the school. She talks about the drastic changes faculty and students may face in less than two months.</p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 20 Jan 2016 15:15:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-20/chicago-state-university-caught-states-budget-impasse-114537 Could Chicago Public Schools Be Run by the State? http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-20/could-chicago-public-schools-be-run-state-114536 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/17630326518_1d222d29e8_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><div>Republican lawmakers announced a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/illinois-republicans-mull-cps-bankruptcy-plan-114531" target="_blank">proposal to let the state of Illinois take control of Chicago Public Schools</a> in order to get the district&rsquo;s finances in order.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The move would reportedly pave the way for the district -- and possibly even the city of Chicago itself -- to declare bankruptcy. WBEZ&rsquo;s state politics reporter Tony Arnold explains.</div></p> Wed, 20 Jan 2016 14:54:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2016-01-20/could-chicago-public-schools-be-run-state-114536 Bill Would Provide Money for Illinois to Pay Utility Bills http://www.wbez.org/news/bill-would-provide-money-illinois-pay-utility-bills-114515 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/8215022167_961e640e13_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) &mdash; An Illinois senator has introduced legislation that would authorize funding to pay for about $10 million the state owes for utility bills at government offices in the capital city.</p><p>Illinois owes Springfield&#39;s City Water, Light and Power more than $9 million, including overdue bills totaling more than $6 million covering electric, water, sewer and sanitary services. The city provides utility services to 90 separate accounts for state facilities.</p><p>The state hasn&#39;t had authorization to pay the bills because lawmakers haven&#39;t agreed on budget for the fiscal year that started July 1.</p><p>State Sen. Andy Manar, a Democrat from Bunker Hill, has filed a bill that would allow Illinois to use general funds and additional money from the previous fiscal year to cover unpaid utility bills that aren&#39;t covered in the current fiscal year&#39;s budget, <a href="http://bit.ly/1PmIjRu" target="_blank"><em>The State Journal-Register</em></a> reported.</p><p>&quot;If the state government were a residential customer, the state government&#39;s power would have been shut off,&quot; Manar said.</p><p>The utility has said that accounts are usually disconnected within 60 to 90 days of being overdue but it has been working with the state.</p><p>Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder said no state building is in danger of losing power at this time.</p><p>The Springfield City Council is expected to vote Tuesday on a resolution asking Gov. Bruce&nbsp;Rauner&nbsp;and the Legislature to make utility services to state facilities an essential service so that electric, water and sewer bills can be paid.</p><p>The legislation is SB2230.</p></p> Tue, 19 Jan 2016 12:33:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/bill-would-provide-money-illinois-pay-utility-bills-114515 For Some Illinois Kids, Budget Battle Means Going to Prison Instead of Home http://www.wbez.org/news/some-illinois-kids-budget-battle-means-going-prison-instead-home-114251 <p><p>For some Illinois kids, the state&rsquo;s budget impasse means going to prison instead of going home. That&rsquo;s because the lack of a state spending plan is forcing a universally-renowned program to disappear.</p><p>The program is called Redeploy Illinois. It takes serious or repeat juvenile offenders, who would otherwise be headed to prison, and gives them therapy, mentoring, drug counseling, a case manager and sometimes, even round-the-clock supervision.</p><p>The idea is to invest in troubled kids, address their underlying problems and save money in the long run. Redeploy costs about $6,000 a year, for each kid. That&rsquo;s compared to an expense of more than $110,000 to send that same kid to prison.</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/redeploy%20map.JPG" style="height: 696px; width: 540px;" title="Redeploy Illinois has closed or stopped accepting new kids in 23 Illinois counties. That’s more than half of the programs. (Map courtesy of the Illinois Collaboration on Youth)" /></p><p>Last year, Redeploy saved the state about $30 million, and kept almost 500 kids out of the state&rsquo;s youth prisons. One of the kids it helped was Philip Graceffa. Graceffa works at the fast food joint Beef-a-Roo in Rockford.</p><p>The minimum wage job, where he prepared the food, he said, is just &ldquo;alright.&rdquo; But it is a big deal that Graceffa has a job: Before the 18-year-old got hooked up with Redeploy Illinois, he was headed down a bad path.</p><p>&ldquo;Once my dad died, passed away, everything changed,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;I had to switch schools&hellip;everything started going downhill for me.&rdquo;</p><p>That was in 2010, when Graceffa was 12.</p><p>His mom, Cynthia Graceffa said her son didn&rsquo;t grieve at all, which was odd because the two were &ldquo;extremely close.&rdquo; She said in the years after her husband&rsquo;s death, Philip was, &ldquo;pretty much out of control.&rdquo;</p><p>&ldquo;He was doing whatever he wanted to do, coming home when he felt like it, running with the wrong crowd,&rdquo; she said.</p><p>And he started getting arrested.</p><p>First he was caught breaking into a school, then he was with a friend shoplifting at the mall. Things escalated when he got caught stealing a car.</p><p>&ldquo;Real pretty girl at school, stole her dad&rsquo;s car out of the driveway and wanted Philip to drive it and of course he hit a car and he ran,&rdquo; his mother remembered.&nbsp;</p><p>His last arrest was for selling his medication for his Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder at school. Philip was headed either to a youth prison, or an out-of-state boot camp. But Redeploy gave him a last chance to stay at home.</p><p>Cynthia Graceffa has had to work full time since her husband died. She said the Redeploy case manager, her name was Sarah, gave her son support she just couldn&rsquo;t provide.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;He had somebody to take him where he needed to go, who made sure he did his school work,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;They were able to talk to him and he listened to them, he didn&rsquo;t want to always listen to me. &nbsp;You know that&rsquo;s the way it is, they&rsquo;re mean to the ones they love.&rdquo;</p><p>Now, Philip has a job, a girlfriend and is about to earn his G.E.D.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;m very proud of him, I&rsquo;ve got my son back, he&rsquo;s just totally turned around. And I pretty much credit that to Redeploy,&rdquo; Cynthia said.</p><p>In October, the Redeploy program in Rockford shut down. And this program, beloved by all, is disappearing across the state. John Johnson runs juvenile probation for Winnebago County.</p><p>&ldquo;Due to the budget impasse, our provider could no longer continue without being financed by the state,&rdquo; Johnson said.</p><p>Winnebago is one of 23 counties forced to either stop accepting new kids, or close their Redeploy programs altogether because Illinois doesn&rsquo;t have a budget. That&rsquo;s more than half of the state&rsquo;s participating programs, and there are even more teetering on the brink.</p><p>&ldquo;The ending of the program was like someone else walking away from the families and those kids,&rdquo; Johnson said. &ldquo;That was my biggest concern, &lsquo;what&rsquo;s going to happen to these minors and their families when someone else just walks out the door?&rsquo;&rdquo;&nbsp;</p><p>Johnson said they&rsquo;ve already had kids sent to youth prison who would have been eligible for Redeploy; and there are juveniles in the county detention center right now who will head to the Department of Juvenile Justice because of Redeploy&rsquo;s absence. And, he said this isn&rsquo;t just a matter of a good program being put on hold: They won&rsquo;t be able to just flip the switch when funding is restored.&nbsp;</p><p>Real damage has already been done, and it will need to be untangled whenever the state finally gets a budget in place.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;My concern is the length of time, because we&rsquo;ve already lost staff so it&rsquo;s almost like re-starting the program all over again,&rdquo; Johnson said.</p><p>Cynthia Graceffa said she doesn&rsquo;t believe state politicians realize this budget fight means kids like her son are being locked up instead of getting the help they need.</p><p>They can&rsquo;t, Graceffa said, or they wouldn&rsquo;t be doing this.</p><p><em>Patrick Smith is a WBEZ producer/reporter. Follow him @pksmid.</em></p></p> Tue, 22 Dec 2015 10:06:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/some-illinois-kids-budget-battle-means-going-prison-instead-home-114251 Budget stalemate prevents exonerees from getting compensation http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-11-09/budget-stalemate-prevents-exonerees-getting-compensation-113701 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/prison flickr Todd Ehlers.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Thanks to the state budget stalemate, if you play the lottery and win more than $600, you get an IOU. But people who buy scratch-offs are just one of the groups affected by the political gridlock in Springfield. Another? Exonerees &mdash; people who were wrongfully convicted and then released from prison.</p><p><a href="https://twitter.com/JarrettFocused?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor">Jarrett Adams</a>, an adjunct professor at Loyola&rsquo;s School of Law and an exoneree himself, joins us to discuss.&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 09 Nov 2015 12:43:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-11-09/budget-stalemate-prevents-exonerees-getting-compensation-113701 Governor Bruce Rauner, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and one dead fish http://www.wbez.org/news/governor-bruce-rauner-mayor-rahm-emanuel-and-one-dead-fish-113580 <p><div><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rauner%20at%20paulina%20meat%20market.JPG" style="height: 400px; width: 300px; margin-left: 10px; margin-right: 10px; float: left;" title="Governor Bruce Rauner at Paulina Meat Market. (WBEZ/Tony Arnold)" />The public battle between two of Illinois&rsquo; most powerful politicians culminated Friday with the use of a familiar political weapon: A dead fish.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner referenced local political lore Friday, as he held up a plastic-wrapped fillet of tuna for reporters and said he would send it to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in jest. &nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The fish stunt was Rauner&rsquo;s attempt to add some levity to the tension that&rsquo;s been heating up between he and the mayor, ever since Chicago&rsquo;s City Council approved Emanuel&rsquo;s budget for 2016 and as the State of Illinois is about to enter its fifth month without a budget. The budget includes a property tax increase for city residents and businesses. The historic levy will mostly go toward funding the city&rsquo;s ailing police and firefighters&rsquo; pensions.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In recent weeks, Emanuel and Rauner have been in private talks over some initiatives the mayor needs the Statehouse to approve. That includes an exemption to that recently-approved property tax increase, for residents whose homes are worth less than $250,000. And Emanuel is still waiting for Rauner to say he&rsquo;ll sign off on a new payment schedule for those financially struggling pension funds.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Emanuel criticized Rauner for not supporting what the mayor called &ldquo;the economic engine&rdquo; of Illinois, referring to the City of Chicago. In response, a Rauner spokesman said Emanuel needed to &ldquo;get serious&rdquo; about if he&rsquo;ll endorse the governor&rsquo;s policies, or become, a &ldquo;tax-and-spend&rdquo; politician who is already planning to raise more taxes.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>On Friday, the public back-and-forth escalated even further.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;You&rsquo;re 120 days behind budget, $6 billion and counting and not paying bills,&rdquo; Emanuel said, referring to the ongoing state budget impasse. &ldquo;Stop name-calling and just do your job.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Soon after, Rauner held his own news conference at a Chicago meat market -- and this is where the fish came in The governor said he would send the cut of tuna to Emanuel, a reference to the<a href="http://foreignpolicy.com/2008/11/06/the-five-most-infamous-rahm-emanuel-moments/" target="_blank"> infamous story</a> that, years ago, Emanuel once sent a dead fish to a political operative.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>But the humor only lasted so long. While Rauner said he&rsquo;s &ldquo;very fond&rdquo; of Emanuel, he later grew more serious when asked about Chicago&rsquo;s property tax increase.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;Chicago, I believe, has made a fundamental mistake,&rdquo; Rauner said. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s the reason I&rsquo;m opposed to what the mayor has done. He&rsquo;s put a massive tax hike on the people of Chicago without significant structural reform. I think that&rsquo;s a mistake.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Rauner also said Emanuel, on principle, wants some of the policies that he&rsquo;s pushing for, like changes to workers compensation.&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s some hiding, dodging,&rdquo; Rauner said of Emanuel. &ldquo;We need structural reform.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Emanuel and Rauner are old friends and often speak privately. But the public dispute is a sign that the political impasse stretching out in the Statehouse is reaching the City of Chicago.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Lauren Chooljian and Tony Arnold cover politics for WBEZ. Follow them <a href="https://twitter.com/laurenchooljian" target="_blank">@laurenchooljian</a> and<a href="https://twitter.com/tonyjarnold" target="_blank"> @tonyjarnold.</a></em></div></p> Fri, 30 Oct 2015 17:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/governor-bruce-rauner-mayor-rahm-emanuel-and-one-dead-fish-113580 Morning Shift: October 29, 2015 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-29/morning-shift-october-29-2015-113554 <p><p>These days, uniformed police officers are the norm for lots of schools. And, by now, we&rsquo;ve all seen the shocking video of the South Carolina school cop who forcibly removed a female student from the classroom after she refused a teacher&rsquo;s order. We talk about <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-29/police-role-school-disciplinary-process-113552">cops in schools</a> &mdash; the role that they play, the limits they should have and whether it&rsquo;s a good idea to have them there in the first place. Plus, a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-29/book-soul-food-highlights-connection-civil-rights-movement-113550">soul food tour</a> of the south...with a few stops up north. And we hear the details of the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-29/breaking-down-mayor%E2%80%99s-budget-113551">budget </a>passed by Chicago&#39;s city council Wednesday. And a conversation with <a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-29/wbez-25-ira-looks-back-113553">Ira Glass</a> about the evolution of his radio show, This American Life.</p></p> Thu, 29 Oct 2015 12:52:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-10-29/morning-shift-october-29-2015-113554