Our good friends from Equip for Equality, Barry Taylor and Laura Miller are interviewed in this story from NPR. Ligas is also part of this story.


Illinois Issues: What Are Consent Decrees?


Gov. Bruce Rauner says he wants to get the state out of legal agreements called consent decrees. The deals are a big part of the reason state government is still operating without a budget; they also impact the lives of thousands of Illinois residents. But unless you are affected by one, you’ve probably never heard of them.

Earlier this month Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner marked the anniversary of his first year in office by giving several reporters who cover state politics one-on-one interviews.

The governor used the sit-downs to try and shape the narrative of his first year and hint at what his priorities would be in his second year in office.

“One of the big things we’ll be pushing — we have another round of legislation that we’ll be proposing soon — and one of them is to get out of all these court orders and consent decrees. They are causing us to spend money on certain things beyond what anybody wants,”  Rauner told The News-Gazette.

Consent decrees are a big part of what has kept state government running the last seven months without a budget. They are also a big part of what is putting Illinois at spending levels billions higher than the revenues it currently has to cover the costs. During his State of the State speech, Rauner said that his administration has already started the process of “getting out from under” the state’s consent decrees. Still, most Illinois residents probably have no idea what the governor was talking about when he said this.



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Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
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