On this week’s Illinois Lawmakers, our focus is on education funding from kindergarten all the way to state colleges and universities.
Lawmakers adjourned their annual fall veto session in early December without taking action on the state’s looming budget crisis as they await the inauguration of Republican Governor-elect Bruce Rauner on January 12th. The state’s temporary five percent income tax rate will expire on schedule on December 31st leaving a two-billion dollar hole in the current fiscal year budget ending June 30th. The budget gap grows to more than four billion dollars in the Fiscal Year 2016 budget beginning July one, resulting deep cuts to all areas of state government including education, health and human services, and public safety if nothing is done.
The Illinois House of Representatives will vote on a budget that is $4-billion less than the $38-billion spending plan approved a week ago after Speaker Michael Madigan said that he does not have enough votes to extend the state’s temporary tax increase.
On this week’s edition of Illinois Lawmakers: Capitolfax.com publisher Rich Miller outlines the uphill fight for lawmakers to extend the state’s five percent temporary income tax hike. Our newsmaker interview features Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno of Lemont discussing taxes, school funding reform, and new developments in the legislature’s investigation into Governor Pat Quinn’s Neighborhood Recovery Initiative. Later, House Mass Transit Committee Chairman Al Riley (D) Olympia Fields and the Committee’s Republican Spokesman Mike Tryon of Crystal Lake outline legislative efforts to reform the scandal-plagued Metra mass transit agency and improving the mass transit systems that serve over 650-million riders a year in Northeastern Illinois. Hosted by Jak Tichenor.
Illinois Lawmakers returns with weekly coverage of the spring session of the Illinois General Assembly during the month of May. Illinois Public Radio Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky leads off this week’s coverage with an update on the latest developments under the Capitol dome. Next, House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie (D) Chicago and Deputy Senate Republican Leader Matt Murphy (R) Palatine debate the pros and cons of extending the state’s temporary income tax increase in separate interviews with series host Jak Tichenor. Rounding out the program, Sen. Andy Manar (D) Bunker Hill and Sen. Jason Barickman (R) Bloomington discuss their work in crafting a new proposal to overhaul the state’s education funding system to send more dollars to Illinois’ poorest school districts.