Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Illinois' new normal: No budget, but money still flowing - Kim Geiger and Monique Garcia, Chicago Tribune

School officials say they are doing what they can to limit the impact on students, and representatives for both the University of Illinois and Southern Illinois University say classes are set to start on time this fall. That's because the schools plan to dip into reserves in the hope that a budget deal will eventually be reached. And the state's bill backlog means payments from last year are still rolling in. Still, schools are weighing various contingency plans should the budget impasse go into December or beyond. Already, U. of I. has implemented an administrative hiring freeze, while SIU has sent layoff notices to some employees whose paychecks are funded by research grants the Rauner administration cut. SIU is running scenarios in which it would have to close school museums or cut help for regional economic development groups. In addition, the school is hiring graduate assistants for a semester at a time instead of the usual yearlong agreement.

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