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Budget Crisis Impact

Illinois' crippling budget crisis is forcing state university, community college, public health, and social service agency officials to consider employee layoffs, furloughs, and program cutbacks as the state heads into the next calendar year with nearly $4.5 billion in unpaid bills.   On the next WSIU InFocus, we'll examine how the state's fiscal crisis is threatening to ripple through the local economy as the area's largest employer, Southern Illinois University, struggles to meet its payroll after receiving only a fraction of its yearly state appropriation thus far.  But SIU isn't the only state-funded institution in trouble.  Area community colleges are facing equally tough decisions after having their share of state funding delayed by months while public health care providers and social service agencies have already trimmed staff and services because of budget cuts.

SIU President Glenn Poshard, Shawnee College President Larry Peterson, Shawnee Health Service Executive Director Patsy Jensen, and Southern Illinois Regional Social Services Executive Director Karen Freitag join WSIU-TV's Jak Tichenor and WSIU Radio's Jennifer Fuller for this week's discussion.

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