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After state lawmakers finally passed pension reform in December, Illinoisans could be forgiven for assuming the state is now on track to balance its budget. But a report out this week says the reforms don't do nearly enough to fix the state's budget gap. Two of the authors of the report join us to discuss their findings and the implications for the state.

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This week’s visit from the Polar Vortex was more than snowy and bone-chillingly cold; it was expensive as well. Read an article.

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We chat with Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Rep. Mike Quigley about the bipartisan budget deal and what major issues are still on the table in 2014.

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel formally introduces the city's 2014 budget to City Council, which includes new parking fees, cable taxes and speed camera revenue. How did they take it? Paris Schutz has the details. Read Emanuel's 2014 Budget Recommendation briefing and full budget address.

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President Obama invites House Democrats to a meeting at the White House to discuss the budget crisis. Is the government shutdown nearing its end? Carol Marin and her guests have analysis. Watch web extra videos.

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Joel Weisman and his panel of journalists discuss the challenges Mayor Rahm Emanuel faces trying to win back voters amid the Chicago Public Schools' budget crisis, massive school closings, and rampant gang violence. Watch the web extra video.

Medical Marijuana & City Budget

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We share what you had about the to say about the legalization of medical marijuana in Illinois and the city's budget shortfall in tonight's viewer feedback.

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Joel Weisman and his panel of journalists debate the ramifications of the Chicago Public Schools’ budget deficit, and whether Mayor Rahm Emanuel and CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett have credibility with the voters. Watch the web extra conversation.

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With a budget shortfall projected at over $300 million, what’s a city budget director to do? Alexandra Holt joins us to discuss her plan of action for the City of Chicago. Read the city's 2013 Annual Financial Analysis.

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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 share what you had to say about Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle and a recent giraffe birth at Brookfield Zoo in tonight's Viewer Feedback.

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Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has released an initial budget for the next fiscal year, and in it she estimates a $152 estimated deficit. We talk with President Preckwinkle about what to expect with Cook County’s fiscal health. Read her preliminary budget.

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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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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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A mixed report on the backlog of Illinois' unpaid bills is released. Carol Marin breaks down the billions with the study's author.