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State lawmakers return to Springfield this week to vote on a number of measures, but not on the agenda is the No. 1 topic of discussion—the state budget that should have gone into effect last year.

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Late Tuesday afternoon, the Rauner administration released a statement outlining steps it’s prepared to take in response to the budget passed by House Speaker Michael Madigan, Senate President John Cullerton and their caucuses. The Democratic budget is nearly $4 billion short for fiscal year 2016 which begins July 1.

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State lawmakers are reconvening this week in Springfield to work on the budgeting process for next year. We'll hear from legislators from both sides of the aisle. 

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Gov. Bruce Rauner has proposed big cuts to try and close a $6 billion budget gap, all the while traveling the state promoting a right-to-work agenda. We go one-on-one with the governor about his many controversial proposals in his first Chicago Tonight interview since the election.

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A House Committee has passed a temporary fix to the state budget shortfall so day care providers and prison guards will be paid. Chicago Tonight Springfield reporter Amanda Vinicky has the details.

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Chicago Public Schools introduced its 2014 school budget on Wednesday amid protesting parents and teachers. Officials say they will fill the $1 billion budget gap with $68 million in classroom cuts and the use of $700 million from reserve funds. Elizabeth Brackett has the details.

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The Chicago Public Schools have announced more layoffs. This round cuts more than 2,100 people, including 1,036 teachers -- half of whom are tenured. This reduction follows the June announcement of 855 layoffs. Eddie Arruza and his guests examine the latest round of cuts, and how it will impact students and the system’s $1 billion budget deficit. Read the CPS fact sheet.

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We look at how the so-called sequestration budget cuts are affecting air traffic and passengers at O'Hare and Midway airports.

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President Obama proposed a $3.77 trillion budget for 2014 that would cut deficits by $1.8 trillion over the next decade. Eddie Arruza and his guests gauge market reaction to the potential cuts.

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Sen. Dick Durbin says sequestration is having an impact on everything, from Head Start programs to the loss of air traffic controllers. Elizabeth Brackett reports.

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Defense is one of many areas facing cuts in Congress' expected sequester. Economics professors debate what this means for your budget.

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Saddled with heavy debt, the Field Museum is facing painful cuts. We talk with the museum president about how the museum will adapt.

Illinois Medicaid Cuts

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We asked for your thoughts about Illinois Medicaid cuts. We read what some of you had to say in Viewer Mail.

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Gov. Pat Quinn signs a package of bills to save Medicaid from financial collapse. But the result is steep cuts to many in Illinois who rely on the coverage. Ash-har Quraishi has the details.

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Gov. Pat Quinn

Gov. Pat Quinn lays out $2.7 billion in Medicaid cuts after a committee he appointed falls short of a plan. We talk to lawmakers and analysts about the governor's sweeping proposal on Chicago Tonight at 7:00 pm. Visit the PDFs below to learn more about the Medicaid Stabilization plan.

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Could the city's massive budget shortfall lead to closing Chicago police stations? The top cop says it could happen. Eddie Arruza and his panel look at the economics of public safety.