Illinois has not passed a real budget in over a year, the first state to do so since the Great Depression. The ongoing fight over the budget between Governor Bruce Rauner and the Illinois General Assembly has been covered widely, but what do the effects of this lingering crisis look like in people’s day-to-day lives? This new video series—a collaboration between In These Times and Kartemquin Films—follows the families, workers and students living through the de facto budget cuts, showing the ways it deteriorates the fabric of Illinois communities.

Each episode focuses on a different aspect of the crisis—from higher education to social services to housing—as well as who is benefiting from the crisis and what kinds of solutions could ultimately solve it. The series incorporates data connecting the situation in Illinois to long-term trends of austerity affecting the country at large, and how it ultimately costs taxpayers more in the long run.


Episode 1: Public Higher Education

Episode 2: At-Risk Youth

Episode 3: Homelessness

Episode 4: Meals on Wheels

Episode 5: Adult Education

Episode 6: Home Visiting for Young Moms

Episode 7: Child Care Assistance

Episode 8: Toxic Swaps

UPDATE: We're excited to announce that Stranded by the State has been expanded into a two-part television special, which will air on stations throughout Illinois. Check out the schedule below for upcoming times and channels.

Urbana-Champaign (WILL-TV), Presenting Station

Tuesday, February 14 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Chicago (WTTW-TV)

Thursday, February 23 9:00 - 10:00 PM

Chicago (WYCC-TV)

Thursday, February 16 7:30 PM (Part 1)

Thursday, February 23 7:30 PM (Part 2)

Carbondale (WSIU-TV)

Saturday, February 18 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Charleston (WEIU-TV)

Tuesday, February 14 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM CT

Macomb / Quincy / Springfield (WMEC-TV / WQEC-TV / WSEC-TV)

Thursday, February 16 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Peoria (WTVP-TV)

Friday, February 17th 7:30 PM (Part 1)

Friday, February 24th 7:30 PM (Part 2)

Quad Cities (WQPT-TV)

Thursday, February 16 6:30 PM (Part 1)

Thursday, February 23 6:30 PM (Part 2)

In These Times is an independent, nonprofit magazine dedicated to advancing democracy and economic justice, informing movements for a more humane world, and providing an accessible forum for debate about the policies that shape our future.

Kartemquin Films is a not-for-profit collaborative center for documentary media makers who seek to foster a more engaged and empowered society. In 2016, Kartemquin celebrated 50 years of sparking democracy through documentary. Best known for producing HOOP DREAMS and THE INTERRUPTERS among over 55 documentaries that examine and critique society through the lives of ordinary people, Kartemquin is a national leader in documentary media advocacy and professional development programs that help further grow the field. For more information, visit

This series was produced with funding from the Chicago Digital Media Production Fund, a project of The Voqal Fund administered by Chicago Filmmakers.

Don't miss an episode. Sign up to receive email updates: