WBEZ | budget http://www.wbez.org/tags/budget Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Morning Shift: August 20, 2015 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-20/morning-shift-august-20-2015-112694 <p><p>We get an update from the state fair in Springfield where politicians are pitching votes on why they&rsquo;ve got the best ideas to move Illinois forward. Then, technology is changing so quickly, the law can&rsquo;t always keep up. From search engines to social media, from phones to drones, how does a country that calls itself &ldquo;a nation of laws&rdquo; regulate technology that&rsquo;s changing just about daily? Plus, we explore the phenomenon of post-denominational Judaism. And we&rsquo;ll talk with a filmmaker who documented the exodus of a community out of Cabrini Green, the Near North Side public housing complex that was torn down starting in 1995.</p></p> Thu, 20 Aug 2015 11:02:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-20/morning-shift-august-20-2015-112694 What state fair attendees think of the battle over the state budget http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-20/what-state-fair-attendees-think-battle-over-state-budget-112693 <p><p>Two months into the state&rsquo;s budget stalemate, politicians are taking their ideas directly to the voters this week at the Illinois state fair. Yesterday Governor Rauner roared in on his black Harley Davidson to talk about a property tax freeze and changes to the way Chicago Public Schools&rsquo; pensions are funded. Today&rsquo;s known as Dem Day, so folks can expect to see a lot of Democrats in among the carnival rides and the cows.</p><p>But how open are voters to the governor&rsquo;s &mdash; or the Democrats&rsquo; &mdash; plans? WBEZ statehouse reporter Tony Arnold is down at the fair and he&rsquo;s got some reactions from residents. (Photo: Flickr/katherine johnson)</p></p> Thu, 20 Aug 2015 10:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-20/what-state-fair-attendees-think-battle-over-state-budget-112693 One take on what’s wrong with Chicago’s schools budget http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-19/one-take-what%E2%80%99s-wrong-chicago%E2%80%99s-schools-budget-112684 <p><p>Tuesday night, Chicago Public Schools held three simultaneous hearings, where the public got to weigh in on the district&rsquo;s proposed budget for the 2016 fiscal year. That budget includes hundreds of layoffs, and a variety of other cuts. It also relies on 480 million dollars from Springfield that may or may not materialize. Rod Estvan is the education policy analyst for Access Living, the disability advocacy group. He says 2015-2016 is an especially critical year for special education. He was at the public hearing at Schurz High School on the Northwest Side to testify about changes he&rsquo;d like to see CPS make before the board votes on the budget next week.</p></p> Wed, 19 Aug 2015 11:05:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-19/one-take-what%E2%80%99s-wrong-chicago%E2%80%99s-schools-budget-112684 Gov. Rauner pushes mega bill before state fair http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-18/gov-rauner-pushes-mega-bill-state-fair-112675 <p><p>Illinois is in month two with no budget. Governor Rauner and Democratic leaders remain locked up. Yesterday, the Governor introduced a bill with multiple components... including a property tax freeze, and a new formula to help funnel funds to financially struggling school districts. The bill included a provision that would force teachers, rather than the district, to pick up their pension contributions. Both Rauner and the Democrats will have their chance to pitch their ideas to residents this week at the Illinois State Fair. But if you can&rsquo;t get down to Springfield, we spoke with Governor Rauner before the show. The governor introduced a bill that would pump money to CPS...to help get it out of its pension crisis. That money would come in exchange for a property tax freeze and stripping unions of their collective bargaining rights. We asked how that would work, and what one had to do with the other&hellip; (Photo: AP /Seth Perlman)</p></p> Tue, 18 Aug 2015 11:21:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-08-18/gov-rauner-pushes-mega-bill-state-fair-112675 DCFS tells providers to prepare for 10 percent cuts as budget impasse continues http://www.wbez.org/news/dcfs-tells-providers-prepare-10-percent-cuts-budget-impasse-continues-112389 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/State-Capitol-Front-1_WBEZ_Tim-Akimoff_4.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>With no signs of a long-term budget agreement, or break in the political stalemate, contractors with Illinois&rsquo; Dept. of Children and Family Services are being told to prepare for 10 percent cuts.</p><p>The threat of reduced services comes as a federal judge mandated the state continue the same level of care for vulnerable children during the ongoing impasse as it did at the end of the previous fiscal year, which ended June 30. The agency has given no indication of when the 10 percent reduction in contracts would be implemented, leaving child welfare service providers little direction for how to plan their own budgets.</p><p>The order from DCFS to its contractors does not contradict Judge Jorge Alonso&rsquo;s ruling on the existing consent decree, which was intended to provide consistency to service providers. The threat of reductions adds to the uncertainty many child welfare providers, including Children&rsquo;s Home and Aid, have faced since July 1. Those groups are now left to balance maintaining the same level of services for now, while potentially facing a condensed schedule later in the fiscal year to enact drastic cuts.</p><p>&ldquo;Where the contracts, I think, create some confusion, is while they don&rsquo;t deal immediately with July 1, they give us a number to work toward for the entire fiscal year, and that number is certainly being reduced,&rdquo; said Jassen Strokosch, with Children&rsquo;s Home and Aid.</p><p>Strokosch said his agency has contracts with DCFS to continue providing payments to foster care families or investigating allegations of child abuse or neglect in the short-term in compliance with Judge Alonso&rsquo;s mandate. But he said administrators at Children&rsquo;s Home and Aid remain unclear on several fronts, including what services would be cut, and whether its current court-mandated contracts will end if there&rsquo;s a budget agreement from state lawmakers and the governor.</p><p>Strokosch also doesn&rsquo;t know if Children&rsquo;s Home and Aid will have to eventually absorb the full 10 percent in reductions later in the fiscal year, or if it should begin implementing those cuts immediately.</p><p>&ldquo;In response to ongoing budget negotiations, we have been required to initiate steps to responsibly manage the departments (<em>sic</em>) finances and have cut contracts by 10 percent,&rdquo; DCFS spokeswoman Veronica Resa said in an emailed statement responding to questions about how the department settled on telling contractors to cut 10 percent when there hasn&rsquo;t been a set budget agreement.</p><p>&ldquo;They don&rsquo;t yet know, and so we don&rsquo;t yet know, what they want to do 10 percent fewer of if that indeed would be the full amount that&rsquo;s cut for the full year&rsquo;s budget,&rdquo; said Marge Berglind, President of the Child Care Association of Illinois, which represents the political and financial interests of many DCFS contractors.</p><p>But not all observers are sure the cuts will happen.</p><p>American Civil Liberties Union attorney Ben Wolf has taken DCFS to court several times over the past few decades over the quality of services provided to youth. He said he didn&rsquo;t believe the 10 percent cuts to be &ldquo;real&rdquo; and that amount could change depending on the overall state budget that may eventually be adopted.</p><p>&ldquo;It certainly would be bad for the children if some of the better non-profit agencies started to have to feel like they can&rsquo;t plan for the future and they have to lay off staff,&rdquo; Wolf said. &ldquo;Any tentative, interim, proposed cuts that the people have heard about will not be maintained if they are inconsistent with the consent decree, which means they should not be maintained if they cause harm to children in the custody of the state.&rdquo;</p><p>Wolf said he can&rsquo;t go back to Judge Alonso over the possibility of budget cuts yet. But he&rsquo;ll be watching to see if child welfare providers end up cutting their services now in response to the threat of cuts and if those reductions in services end up violating the federal judge&rsquo;s court order that was intended to maintain a level of consistency during budget negotiations between Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic legislative leaders Michael Madigan and John Cullerton. Both Rauner and Madigan have said they&rsquo;re open to a full state budget that reflects cuts in government services and increases in revenue, but no specific agreement has been reached.</p><p>&ldquo;The future in Illinois is somewhat uncertain but I think the protections of our consent decree are quite a bit more certain than most of the Illinois budget,&rdquo; Wolf said.</p><p><em>Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics for WBEZ. Follow him </em><a href="https://twitter.com/tonyjarnold"><em>@tonyjarnold</em></a><em>.</em></p><p><em>WBEZ&rsquo;s Shannon Heffernan contributed reporting to this story. Follow her </em><a href="https://twitter.com/shannon_h"><em>@shannon_h</em></a><em>.</em></p></p> Tue, 14 Jul 2015 14:59:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/dcfs-tells-providers-prepare-10-percent-cuts-budget-impasse-continues-112389 CPS releases budgets for schools http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-14/cps-releases-budgets-schools-112379 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/9549882898_9274fea9bf_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/214693141&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Chicago Public Schools officials delivered bad news to principals Monday. Two-thirds of the city&rsquo;s public schools will see their budgets slashed. The cuts are driven, in large part, by declining enrollment. But are also driven by debt payments and pension obligations that are devouring the revenues that would otherwise be spent in the classroom. Joining us to sort through what schools are hardest hit is WBEZ&rsquo;s education reporter Becky Vevea.&nbsp;</span></p></p> Tue, 14 Jul 2015 12:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-14/cps-releases-budgets-schools-112379 Morning Shift: July 10, 2015 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-14/morning-shift-july-10-2015-112387 <p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/214538029&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">Illinois State Senators talk about the stalemate with the budget, Chicago Public Schools will be doing more to ensure there&rsquo;s no discrimination when it comes to girls and high school school sports and we get a preview and plan of how to conquer Taste of Chicago.</span></p></p> Fri, 10 Jul 2015 13:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-14/morning-shift-july-10-2015-112387 Ball could be in State Senate’s court for a temporary state budget http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-14/ball-could-be-state-senate%E2%80%99s-court-temporary-state-budget-112386 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/17123235909_bc94df9fcd_z.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/214536455&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 22px;">The Illinois House passed a temporary budget on Thursday and there&rsquo;s an important amendment as the bill advances. It includes a requirement to pay state workers through the end of the month. The Democrats bill would also fund many social service providers. Now, the Senate needs to vote on if it can go forward in its new form. Both sides of the aisle are attacking their colleagues for slinging for party leaders. So what do lawmakers think of the impasse and what needs to be done next? We talk to a Democratic Sen. Kwame Raoul and Republican Senator Matt Murphy about what they will do to get a state budget.</span></p></p> Fri, 10 Jul 2015 13:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-14/ball-could-be-state-senate%E2%80%99s-court-temporary-state-budget-112386 State budget deadline comes — and goes — with no deal http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-01/state-budget-deadline-comes-%E2%80%94-and-goes-%E2%80%94-no-deal-112297 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/JanetandPhil_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/212813116&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: 22px;">Wednesday is the deadline for the state to pass a budget and stave off a government shutdown that would affect services and state workers&rsquo; paychecks. Governor Rauner says a shutdown may be necessary to get reforms to set the state on a better fiscal path. Democratic leaders think the cuts are extreme and that it&rsquo;s more important to ensure services. We have the latest from the Capitol and how both sides of the aisle and waging the budget battle.&nbsp;</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">Guests:&nbsp;</strong><a href="https://twitter.com/tonyjarnold">Tony Arnold</a> is WBEZ&#39;s statehouse reporter</p></p> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 12:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-07-01/state-budget-deadline-comes-%E2%80%94-and-goes-%E2%80%94-no-deal-112297 Democratic lawmaker 'mad as hell' over Rauner's veto of state budget http://www.wbez.org/news/democratic-lawmaker-mad-hell-over-rauners-veto-state-budget-112258 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/LIGHTFORD.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner&rsquo;s rejection of a spending plan gives Illinois lawmakers less than a week to find an agreement and avoid the starting point of a government shutdown. But a Thursday rally on Chicago&rsquo;s West Side shed some light into just how far apart things remain between Rauner and Democratic legislators.</p><p>The rally came after several reports of increasing tensions between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and Democrats. In that time, a lot of the voice and tone of Rauner&rsquo;s opposition has come from Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan, who has a reputation for his low-key, matter-of-fact way of speaking.</p><p>For months now, Madigan has been saying he&rsquo;s working with Rauner even as the two sides have been inching toward the very dramatic possibility of a government shutdown. And the tone of the Democratic opposition got a serious injection of adrenaline Thursday when a group of African-American lawmakers organized a rally on Chicago&rsquo;s West Side.</p><p>Those at the rally were from community groups addressing state funding of autism programs, energy assistance for the poor, and mental health services. Some of those groups receive state money and stand to lose some of it.</p><p>Near the end of the event, Sen. Kimberly Lightford (D-Westchester), who is in Senate leadership, stepped outside to talk to reporters.</p><p>And that&rsquo;s when the news broke that Rauner had vetoed almost all of the spending plan for state government for the next year. It was in this moment when the rhetoric started to match the stakes of those tensions that have been talked about so much in recent months.</p><p>&ldquo;You can&rsquo;t just bring your whole campaign agenda in year one and pit it against the budget and say, &lsquo;Either you give me what I want or not.&rsquo; The campaign is over. People are hurting. It&rsquo;s time to govern,&rdquo; Lightford said.</p><p>Lightford says the governor hasn&rsquo;t been willing to negotiate with legislators. Rauner&rsquo;s administration denies that characterization of the debate, and Republicans have said it&rsquo;s Democrats who aren&rsquo;t willing to accept that voters elected a Republican as governor.</p><p>After she finished talking with reporters, Lightford still had something else to do: Break the news to those attending the rally in the other room.</p><p>When Lightford entered, tears streaming down her face, the crowd moved in tighter.</p><p>&ldquo;Don&rsquo;t confuse my tears as signs of weakness,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m mad as hell and I want to fight.&rdquo;</p><p>That&rsquo;s when Lightford got more personal in her comments, referring to Rauner&rsquo;s personal wealth as the crowd looked for somewhere to direct its anger.</p><p>&ldquo;I don&rsquo;t give a damn how much money he has. He can sit up in his mansion and not be affected but all of us will feel the pinch. It might not be in your house but it&rsquo;s gonna be in your neighbor&rsquo;s house,&rdquo; she told the crowd.</p><p>As those in the crowd asked her for a plan of action, Lightford said she&rsquo;d have to talk to her fellow Democrats.</p><p>&ldquo;We&rsquo;re gonna have to march on this governor like nothing before,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;And I think we need the elders in this room to show us how to do it. You did it in the &lsquo;50s, you did it in the &lsquo;60s, we need you to do it in 2015. We need help today.</p><p>For his part, Rauner <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-rauner-budget-veto-perspec-20150625-story.html">wrote an editorial</a> published in the Chicago Tribune Thursday, saying he vetoed the budget because the budget wasn&rsquo;t balanced. He said he still wants to change workers compensation benefits and approve term limits before a spending plan is approved. In that editorial, he also addressed the underfunded pension issues facing Chicago public school teachers and Cook County workers.</p><p>The response to Rauner&rsquo;s veto from Speaker Madigan did not reflect the anger felt on Chicago&rsquo;s West Side. Instead, Madigan&rsquo;s spokesman issued a written statement to reporters that says the wheels are in motion for hearing from government officials about how they&rsquo;re preparing for a shut down.</p><p><em>Tony Arnold covers Illinois politics for WBEZ. Follow him </em><a href="https://twitter.com/tonyjarnold"><em>@tonyjarnold</em></a><em>.</em></p></p> Fri, 26 Jun 2015 07:39:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/democratic-lawmaker-mad-hell-over-rauners-veto-state-budget-112258