Saturday, April 30, 2016

ILL-inois: Chicago State lays off 1/3 of employees

The Illinois budget impasse is ten months old. A goofball liberal I know blames this quagmire on the Land of Lincoln's reform governor, Republican Bruce Rauner. I explained to him that state Democratic boss Mike Madigan of Chicago, who is also the speaker of the state House, has veto-proof majorities in the General Assembly and that the Dems can pass a budget to fund schools such as Chicago State. If Rauner vetoes the budget--the legislature can override it. Simple. His response? "It's an election year, you can't expect these guys to make a tough vote."

With thinking--or what passes for thinking--like that, it's easy to understand how Illinois ended up with the worst credit rating of the 50 states and the worst funded pension system in the union as well.

From ABC Chicago:
Chicago State University laid off more than 300 people due to lack of funding during the ongoing state budget impasse. The layoffs were announced Friday and effective immediately.

The school has been struggling with budget issues for months. Just last week, state lawmakers approved $20 million in emergency funding, but school officials said was not enough. About 30 percent of the university's budget comes from the state, and the school serves a predominantly minority, low-income student population.

CSU's president said in February all 900 employees received notice that layoffs were imminent, and about 10 percent of staff have been laid off since the beginning of 2016. The university has also cut 20 percent of its administrative costs.

CSU has been hardest hit by the higher education crisis triggered by the state's historic budget impasse. It received $20.1 million from the long-stalled emergency funding bill, but the funds were less than 60 percent of the $37 million the South Side school had counted on getting from the state this year.

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