A top financial analyst said bond rating agencies probably won’t be troubled by the Chicago Board of Education’s vote to borrow more than $1 billion to help the Chicago Public Schools address a massive budget crunch in the coming year.
Ralph Martire, director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, said the latest downgrade to junk bond status will cost the city an additional $200 million to $300 million, on top of its existing budget deficit and employee pension fund shortfalls.
Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka is warning of “a $2 billion collapse” next year when the state’s temporary income tax increase begins to roll back.
With a 2011 state income tax increase set to expire at the end of the calendar year, the governor and Illinois lawmakers are facing a huge drop in state revenue, which would affect many social service groups that rely on the state for funding.
Homeowners, prepare to dig deeper. Schoolchildren — especially high schoolers — prepare to get less.
Chicago Public Schools officials have announced nearly $21 million in new cutbacks as it continues work to close a $1 billion budget deficit. The latest cuts come on top of more than $31 million in central office cuts earlier this year.
With 49 elementary schools set to close this summer, and the district facing an additional $412 million in pension costs, the Chicago Teachers Union estimated hundreds – if not thousands – of teachers could be laid off to reduce district spending.
Next week, Chicago Public Schools officials will release a list of schools it is targeting for possible closure, after an independent commission issued a preliminary report recommending which schools should stay open, and which should be considered for closure.
The City of Chicago’s 2013 budget gap now stands at $298 million–after belt-tightening knocked $71 million off the total.
Illinois budget deficit skyrocketed to almost $44 billion, the worst in the nation, the state’s auditor said in report released this week.
Despite complaints from teachers that it would lead to student burnout and decreased teacher morale, the Chicago Board of Education has unanimously approved Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to extend the school year by 10 days starting in the fall.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is planning to raise several fines and fees imposed by the city of Chicago, while avoiding any tax hikes to balance a $600 million budget shortfall for next year. The mayor also reportedly plans to call for closing three police district stations and merge five police detective areas into three areas.
Senator Mark Kirk says Illinois can forget about federal assistance if it goes to Congress saying it’s broke and needs a bailout. Kirk has released a report showing that Illinois state government is teetering on the edge of insolvency.
The CTA says it faces a $277 million budget shortfall in the coming year. It won’t say yet that it plans fare hikes or service cuts, but CTA President Forrest Claypool made it clear he’s targeting union work rules.
An arbitrator has ruled that Gov. Pat Quinn may not lay off more than 1,900 state employees and close seven state facilities, because the move would violate a deal with a state labor union.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel revealed Wednesday that he plans to move forward with a controversial tax plan from his campaign for mayor – cutting the city’s sales tax, but applying it to several services that now go untaxed.
A raucous crowd of postal workers braved the chilly drizzle at the Thompson Center on Tuesday protest the proposed closing of 3,700 branches across the country.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel is expected to eliminate the city’s Department of Environment as he continues to prepare his plan to close a projected $637 million budget shortfall.
Thousands of state employees could be facing the prospect of layoffs as Gov. Pat Quinn seeks to make “reductions” to deal with a massive budget deficit.
Metra is asking riders to dig deeper in their pockets. Fares could go up as much as 20 percent next year. There’s also talk of service cuts, but there’s no talk of eliminating a major perk for some of the agency’s administrators and staff – free take-home cars.