Budget stalemate causes more delays and shutdowns

Capitol Connection Blog
Protestors at Illinois State Museum

Illinois is in its fourth month without a budget, here are some of the notable shutdowns from this past week. Despite the closures, Governor Bruce Rauner (R-Illinois) said the shutdown could “go on for a while.”

Illinois State Museum closes to the public
The most visible example of Illinois’s budget problems. The Illinois State Museum in Springfield and it’s four branches closed to the public on September 30. The museum will still keep most of its workers on staff due to a pending lawsuit filed by public sector unions. The estimated savings of the closure was supposed to be $4 million for the year, but has shriveled to only $400,000 because most employees are still there. Read more here.

The Autism Program of Illinois shuts down
The Autism Program of Illinois, also known as TAP, shut its doors at the end of September. TAP helps put families in touch with local providers in their area and also helps subsidize care for low income families. The program has been running without a budget since July. Most providers in Illinois have already had to cut service to families dependent on state subsidies.

Police training cancelled across the state
Classes across the state have been cancelled. Hundreds of classes were supposed to begin this fall, but have been put on hold. The training includes classes on community relations and diversity which have been newly required by state law after incidents in Ferguson, MO, Cleveland, OH, and New York, NY. Read more here.

Secretary of State threatens blackout
Secretary of State Jesse White (D-Illinois) announced electricity in the Capitol and at more than a hundred DMV locations could be cut because the office cannot make any more electricity payments. White also said important software contractors could stop working as well. The Secretary announced this week he would stop sending reminder notices for driver renewals saving the state $450,000 a month.

Board of Elections behind in preparations for Election 2016
The Illinois Board of Elections says it is getting further and further behind on preparations for Election 2016. The board has to meet specific goals when it comes to its electronic registration system. It also has no money to hire judges for the candidate petition process in November. The Board of Elections also hasn’t been able to pay its $33,000 a month rent for its Springfield headquarters.

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