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What You Can Expect Out Of Springfield During This Week’s Lame Duck Session

Lame duck Illinois state lawmakers are back in Springfield Monday before the winners from November’s election are sworn in later this week. These sessions tend to be where outgoing legislators are more willing to take votes on controversial legislation. 

But currently there’s a lot of attention at the statehouse is focused on how the state is operating without a budget. That means universities and social services are not receiving state money until there’s a deal.

The Associated Press reports:

As the Illinois Senate tries to broker a deal to break the state's long-running budget deadlock, here are some of the numbers at the center of the debate:

— $11 billion: The amount in bills at least 60 days old that the state owed, as of Friday, to vendors and service providers, according to the Illinois state comptroller. That figure is higher than the current-year expected general revenue for 30 states, and more than the estimated tax dollars coming in this year for Alaska, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming combined, according to figures from the National Association of State Budget Officers.

— $5.3 billion: The estimated budget deficit on June 30 if nothing changes, according to the Governor's Office of Management and Budget. That's more than 13 percent of the total Illinois is on track to spend this fiscal year — and it's why Arkansas estimates it will raise all year. Without action, the governor's budget office predicts a $7 billion deficit in June 2018.

— $1.7 million: The amount available for rape crisis centers to spend last fall after Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and legislative Democrats agreed to a six-month, stopgap budget that expired Dec. 31, according to Polly Poskin, executive director of the Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Other money appropriated paid the previous year's bills. The remainder is about one-quarter of what the 29 centers statewide need to operate annually, so clients are waiting longer for counseling.

— $0: The amount available, once again, for the income-based Monetary Award Program that helps students attend college. The stopgap budget provided $321 million for 107,000 awards, but left 162,000 eligible students without help. An Illinois Student Assistance Commission survey in December found that more than half of MAP-eligible students responding to a survey reported the funding uncertainty had adversely impacted their school plans.

— 1 million: Number of people as of last summer who lost services from United Way social-service agencies, including mental health and substance-abuse treatment, domestic violence services and HIV prevention. The United Way of Illinois reported that 91 percent of its local organizations had cut services.

Legislative leaders have not met to negotiate a budget deal in a month.

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