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Chicago State University will not be able to make payroll starting March 1 in the midst of a budget battle over state university funding, according to school officials.

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and members of the Democratic-controlled legislature remain at an impasse over the state budget after eight months of negotiations. Lawmakers have yet to approve a budget for the fiscal year that began last July, which has left publicly funded universities in a state of fiscal mayhem.

Students frustrated with the budget crisis protested outside the state capitol as Rauner addressed a joint session of the Illinois Legislature last Wednesday.

“We’re not here to play with [lawmakers] like they play us. They’ve been playing political chess with us,” said Chicago State University senior Charles Preston.

According to a USA Today article, it is unclear whether Chicago State will remain open if the budget is not agreed on by the end of this month. Other schools are feeling the pinch too; Eastern Illinois University has laid off 200 staff and sent furlough notices to many others.

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