What happens in state, suburbs if federal government shuts down?

  • llinois Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk both say they're against a federal government shutdown next week.

    llinois Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk both say they're against a federal government shutdown next week. associated press, 2013

  • State Rep. Christine Winger, a Wood Dale Republican, holds her new daughter, Samantha.

    State Rep. Christine Winger, a Wood Dale Republican, holds her new daughter, Samantha. courtesy OF Christine Winger

Updated 9/24/2015 5:05 PM

With Illinois four months into a partial state shutdown, federal money and court decisions are keeping some programs afloat.

But what if the federal government shuts down?


Gov. Bruce Rauner's staffers say they're watching the situation, but it's unclear to what extent a federal shutdown would worsen Illinois' budget problems, if at all. Congress has until Oct. 1 to agree on a continuing spending plan, so a shutdown might yet be avoided.

A shutdown showdown could peak next week.

Even though Illinois has been without a budget since July 1, a lot of programs are being paid for because they get partial federal funding or because federal court rulings required they be continued. Money might keep flowing even in the event of a federal shutdown, but Rauner's office says they're watching it.

"The administration is closely watching the spending concerns developing in Washington and remains in contact with our congressional delegation and other federal partners in case of a federal government shutdown," spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said.

And more shutdown

Consider this: As a Prospect Heights Elementary District 23 teacher strike continues, there's a possibility of an upcoming local, state and federal government shutdown trifecta in the suburbs.

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From Washington

Where would we feel the effects of a federal shutdown?

In 2013, some will remember, about 2,500 employees of Great Lakes Naval Station were furloughed for four days before being called back to work.

Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin's office outlined some potential impacts:

• About 45,000 federal workers in Illinois would be furloughed, Durbin's office said.

• The Illinois Emergency Management Agency wouldn't have access to some federal funds.

• National Guard training could be delayed.

"A shutdown has a real impact on people and businesses across this country. The last shutdown lowered economic output -- our GDP dropped," Durbin said in a statement. "Consumer confidence dropped. We saw $2 billion in lost productivity from furloughed employees."

A federal shutdown could happen if conservatives try to hold up a federal funding bill over spending for Planned Parenthood. On Thursday, Senate Democrats blocked a plan that would prevent a shutdown and defund Planned Parenthood. But another vote without the Planned Parenthood element is planned soon.


U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, a Highland Park Republican, "does not support shutting down the government and will be supporting a clean (budget resolution)," Kirk spokeswoman Danielle Varallo said.

Some Republicans object to controversial videos released this year that show Planned Parenthood executives talking in blunt terms about using fetal tissue for research purposes.

Future lawmaker?

State Rep. Christine Winger of Wood Dale this week announced the birth of her daughter, Samantha.

Samantha was born Sept. 10, and on Twitter Winger called it the "happiest day of my life."

Winger is a freshman Republican in the Illinois House and joins a small group of lawmakers who have given birth while in office.

Asking for a change

The American Civil Liberties Union wants a group of Illinois towns to change local laws that can punish a landlord or tenant for too many 911 calls.

A new state law says local rules can't punish a tenant for calling authorities on behalf of a person with disabilities or because of a domestic abuse complaint.

Among the suburbs the ACLU sent letters to: Addison, Batavia, Bolingbrook, Carol Stream, Elk Grove Village, Glendale Heights, Palatine, Round Lake Heights, Schaumburg, Villa Park and West Chicago.

Inspiring disaster?

A Chicago Tribune editorial cartoon this week tried to get at the state budget impasse by picturing a large blimp crashing into a sinking ship.

This kind of disaster imagery around Illinois' finances has been around for a while -- including this specific idea.

Here's a quote from State Sen. Pamela Althoff, a McHenry Republican, from a news conference in 2011: "This is the Hindenburg crashing into the Titanic; we are on a very bad path," Althoff said four years ago. "We can fix this problem but we need to act now."

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