Karen's Feed
Jul 2, 2015

Illinois mired in uncertainty over budget

SPRINGFIELD/CHICAGO, Illinois (Reuters) – Illinois blew through a budget deadline this week, and now the state faces court battles over spending and a political standoff between rookie Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and veteran Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan, who has dominated state politics for three decades.

Rauner said he can soften the impact of a looming government shutdown and continue paying state workers on time and in full. Democrats said there are strict limits on what the governor can spend without a budget that has been approved.

Jul 2, 2015

Illinois court asked to clarify state payments without budget

By Karen Pierog

(Reuters) – An Illinois court has been asked to determine
what the state can continue to fund in an absence of an enacted
budget for the fiscal year that began on Wednesday, Illinois
Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced on Thursday.

That includes a brewing disagreement between Madigan and
Governor Bruce Rauner over state employee paychecks.

Jun 29, 2015

Insight – Illinois governor threat to lawmaker air express irks Democrats

CHICAGO (Reuters) – They’re nothing special to look at, they can be noisy and some say that inside they smell like old gym shoes, but that’s not all that’s wrong with the three King Air 350 twin-propeller planes owned by the state of Illinois. For Governor Bruce Rauner, the trouble is that Chicago lawmakers, mostly Democrats, use the planes to fly to the state capital in Springfield.

Rauner, a former private equity executive who was elected as a Republican last November, is trying to cut costs and has threatened to eliminate the government air service that shuttles between Chicago and Springfield. Cancelling the flights would save $3 million a year, the state transportation department estimates.

Jun 29, 2015

Illinois governor threat to lawmaker air express irks Democrats

CHICAGO (Reuters) – They’re nothing special to look at, they can be noisy and some say that inside they smell like old gym shoes, but that’s not all that’s wrong with the three King Air 350 twin-propeller planes owned by the state of Illinois. For Governor Bruce Rauner, the trouble is that Chicago lawmakers, mostly Democrats, use the planes to fly to the state capital in Springfield.

Rauner, a former private equity executive who was elected as a Republican last November, is trying to cut costs and has threatened to eliminate the government air service that shuttles between Chicago and Springfield. Cancelling the flights would save $3 million a year, the state transportation department estimates.

Jun 22, 2015

Chicago school system delays budget, seeks $1.13 bln of notes

CHICAGO, June 22 (Reuters) – The lack of a final Illinois
budget is delaying a fiscal 2016 spending plan for the Chicago
Public Schools (CPS), a spokesman for the district said on
Monday.

Bill McCaffrey said CPS, which begins its new fiscal year on
July 1, is “waiting for clarity on state education (funding)
levels before producing our budget.” The Democratic-controlled
Illinois Legislature and Republican Governor Bruce Rauner remain
at odds over a state spending plan for fiscal 2016, which also
starts next week.

Jun 19, 2015

Michigan launches initial fiscal review of Detroit’s Wayne County

By Karen Pierog

(Reuters) – Michigan will immediately begin a preliminary
review of the troubled finances of Wayne County, home to
Detroit, a state treasury spokesman said on Friday.

Terry Stanton, the spokesman, said county officials were
notified of the action in a letter on Thursday from State
Treasurer Nick Khouri.

Jun 1, 2015

Pressure builds on Illinois to address budget woes

CHICAGO (Reuters) – Illinois ended its legislative session on Sunday without a new budget, adding pressure to its shaky finances and relatively low credit ratings.

Heated rhetoric by Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and the Democratic leaders of the House and Senate in the waning hours of the spring legislative session could foreshadow a tough budget battle that extends beyond the July 1 start of fiscal 2016.

May 29, 2015

Illinois governor: Will not sign unbalanced state budget

CHICAGO, May 29 (Reuters) – Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner
said on Friday that he will reject a fiscal 2016 budget from the
Democratic-controlled legislature if it is not balanced.

While the Republican expressed optimism that Democrats were
now willing to negotiate his so-called turnaround agenda, his
office later lashed out at Democratic House Speaker Michael
Madigan for declining to compromise.

May 27, 2015

Big demand slices yields for $674 mln of Chicago bonds

CHICAGO, May 27 (Reuters) – Strong investor demand pushed
yields lower for $674 million of Chicago bonds priced on
Wednesday, but the city continued to pay a penalty for its shaky
finances.

Carole Brown, Chicago’s CFO, said the four bond issues
attracted $6 billion in orders.

May 27, 2015

U.S. state April income tax revenue returns to growth

May 27 (Reuters) – U.S. state personal income taxes
rebounded in the key revenue month of April, partly due to
2014′s strong stock market, after dropping a year ago, but
collections have not fully stabilized since big increases in
2013.

The tax on earnings and investment income is a top revenue
source for the 43 states that collect it and April is their most
important revenue month because of tax filing deadlines and the
tendency to procrastinate by taxpayers owing money.