— By Ryan Gruenenfelder   For too long Illinois has been without a comprehensive, balanced budget that helps make life better for residents of all ages. Since 2002, the Governor and the General Assembly have failed to pass a truly balanced budget. And for almost two years, the State has operated without anything beyond a ‘stop-gap’ budget.  This budgetary inaction has led to a current fiscal year 2017 budget deficit of somewhere between $5.4 billion to $7.8 billion, depending on whose …

— After a whirlwind of activity in the past two weeks, members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly left town late on Wednesday, July 13, after passing legislation which completed work on the 2016-17 state budget. Before getting into what that final piece of legislation was, it may help to give a brief overview of the how the state budget process evolved this year. First, it’s important to know that in Pennsylvania our fiscal year begins on July 1 each year and …