Stranded by the State to broadcast statewide

Stranded by the State, a web series in collaboration with In These Times and directed, edited and produced by Liz Kaar broadcast across Illinois as a two-part special presented by Illinois Public Media.

The series focuses on the long-term toll that the Illinois budget crisis has had on everyday people across the state, and will begin broadcasting on public television states February 14–the day before Governor Bruce Rauner's state budget address.

Watch the trailer:

Illinois has not passed a budget in over a year, and this historic stalemate has proven to be the longest period that any state in the nation has operated without a budget since the Great Depression.

"There's been plenty of coverage of the politics behind the budget stalemate in Springfield, but not enough on the impact to families and communities,” said Maurice “Moss” Bresnahan, CEO of Illinois Public Media. “As Illinois starts its twentieth month without a full budget, this special reveals what the crisis means for ordinary citizens all around the state."

“The Illinois budget impasse is unprecedented. Now a new question emerges—not just when or if a budget will finally pass— but how long will it take to reverse the damage done?” said Kaar, who hopes to take Stranded by the State on a screening and discussion tour across Illinois in the spring. “We want to give communities a chance to comment and have a productive discussion on how to move forward. The stories we presented show that the repercussions of the budget impasse will be felt for a very long time.”


  • Urbana-Champaign (WILL-TV), Presenting Station
    Tuesday, February 14 7-8PM CT
  • Charleston (WEIU-TV)
    Tuesday, February 14 7-8PM CT
  • Macomb / Quincy / Springfield (WMEC-TV / WQEC-TV / WSEC-TV)
    Thursday, February 16 8-9PM CT
  • Carbondale (WSIU-TV)
    Saturday, February 18 6-7PM
  • Peoria (WTVP-TV)
    Friday, February 17th 7:30PM (Part 1)
    Friday, February 24th 7:30PM (Part 2)
  • Chicago (WTTW-TV)
    Thursday, February 23 9-10PM
  • Quad Cities (WQPT-TV)
    Thursday, February 16 6:30PM (Part 1)
    Thursday, February 23 6:30PM (Part 2)
  • Chicago (WYCC-TV)
    Thursday, February 16 7:30PM (Part 1)
    Thursday, February 23 7:30PM (Part 2)

Broadcast in two 30-minute parts, the documentary focuses on six different aspects of the crisis: higher education, at-risk youth, homelessness, seniors, adult literacy and early childhood development. The documentary explores how the situation in Illinois connects to long-term trends of austerity affecting the country at large, and demonstrates how such measures can ultimately cost taxpayers more in the long run.

Find out more at, follow the series on Twitter at @StrandedbyState and join the conversation with hashtag #StrandedIL.