No budget deal yet as Illinois nears end of legislative session

What a shock. The Illinois legislature has once again missed its spring deadline to pass a budget even though the state owes $14 billion to unpaid bills.

"The governor's reckless strategy of holding the budget hostage to create leverage for his corporate agenda that pads the profits of large corporations and insurance companies has for the third year left IL without a budget at the end of the May legislative session", Madigan said in a statement.

The House adopted a resolution that members would be in "continuous session" over the summer to try to reach a deal. "Instead, the majority in the General Assembly passed phony bills trying to manage phony headlines rather than solve the real problems facing the people of IL".

That means any budget plan will now need 71 votes to pass and require Republican support.

Knowing the Governor Rauner would veto a budget that included tax increases, House Democrats left town without voting on a Senate-passed budget.

Gov. Bruce Rauner says lawmakers' inability to create a budget plan he'll accept for the third straight year is a "dereliction of duty".

"This session the budget negotiations started in the wrong place", McConchie said. Their funding stalled when a partial budget expired on January 1. That, they say, could force both parties to come to terms. Universities and community colleges will see more layoffs as some struggle to keep their doors open.

Some state agencies expected to run out of money halfway through that year as unfunded spending built up a $1 billion year-end deficit.

But Governor Rauner held his own press conference late Wednesday afternoon saying Speaker Madigan and the Democrats claims are all a sham. Spending mandated by court orders and state statute continues at levels set by the last budget lawmakers approved in 2014, when revenues were higher.

House Speaker Michael Madigan declared the chamber will spend the month of June in an effort to strike a deal between Democrats and Republican Governor Bruce Rauner.

"We haven't been invited to be a part of the budget process", Rep. Swanson said.

It passed with no Republican votes after months of bipartisan work among Senate leaders failed to produce a "grand bargain" that could get support from the GOP, which like Rauner wants to tie any tax increases to meaningful reforms. There are issues related to school districts and you have the transportation construction issue (where projects would have to be shut down without a budget).

The Illinois Senate has agreed with House changes to a measure that protects immigrants from indiscriminate federal attention.

Or go it alone, as the Senate ended up doing. That's exactly what the Senate Democrats did last week, but most people don't know that.

They include workers' compensation cost-restrictions and a local property tax freeze. "They need this. Let's get this done".

The Democrat-majority House voted 67-48 in favor Tuesday of a proposal to advance the sale of the James R. Thompson Center. And they're beginning to say so in public.

"This would give us all a step up", Klinger said.

Rep. Bill Mitchell, R-Forsyth, acknowledged "it's frustrating for us but I think it's more frustrating for the people of IL".

"Illinois businesses are really sick and exhausted of what they're seeing going on", said Greg Baise, president and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers' Association. "And we can not let the House majority with their special interest groups dictate terms. The Republicans didn't vote for anything, and as a result, we don't have a budget", Cullerton told reporters.

  • Zachary Reyes