Today the Executive Forum meets with the Division of Developmental Disabilities
to discuss the Governor’s Proposed Budget for Developmental Disability Services.
The Arc opposes the Governor’s Proposed Budget and will soon be releasing our
position and recommendations for the state budget.

The Senate and House Appropriations Committees have set hearing for the Dept.
of Human Services budged now scheduled for March 16th and April 1st in

Yesterday the Senate did a fund sweep increasing revenue for this years budget
by $580 million. See story below.

Monday I met with WGN TV News Anchor Monica Schneider to discuss the
elimination of respite care and other grants providing important family support
throughout Illinois. Special thanks to CSS CEO Diane Farina White and the
Bedar family for participating in the interviews which will air later this week.

Cathy Bedar and her family with Monica and Nelson with WGN

Tomorrow I meet with ComCast Newsmakers to discuss The Arc and budget cuts
to disability services.

Friday up to Des Plaines to meet with the new CEO of Lutheran Social Services
Mark Stutrud.


Democrats back aid for budget
GOP calls revenue sweep a ‘sham’ that hurts Rauner talks

By Monique Garcia Tribune reporter

SPRINGFIELD — Senate Democrats gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a
plan that would sweep $580 million from special funds to help plug a gaping
budget hole, a move Republicans decried as a political stunt that undermines
negotiations with new GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Rauner is seeking extraordinary powers to manage the $1.6 billion budget shortfall
he inherited that threatens subsidized child care and paychecks for state prison

But talks stalled after Rauner unveiled a spending plan for the next budget year that
calls for massive cuts, with Democrats who control the legislature saying they want
more details about how he’d manage the current budget crisis.

Senate Democrats said Tuesday that they’ve run out of patience and began moving
a proposal that would take money from funds earmarked for special purposes
ranging from road construction to oversight of doctors.

The measure sailed through a Senate appropriations committee with nine
Democrats voting in favor.

The five Republicans on the panel voted “present” — a position that allows
lawmakers to effectively avoid taking a stance on an issue.

An aide for Rauner later said the votes were cast in protest of a “sham” proposal,
saying it’ll be a common tactic for Republicans as budget talks move forward.

“This is the exact type of short-term thinking that created this mess, and it does not
even solve the major crises that will occur at the end of this month,” said Rauner
spokesman Mike Schrimpf.

Then-Gov. Pat Quinn and fellow Democrats who control the legislature approved a
budget last year that relied on the extension of a temporary income tax increase,
parts of which expired at the start of this year as Rauner took office.

Sen. Matt Murphy, R-Palatine, accused Senate Democrats of breaking off
negotiations with Rauner. Murphy said the proposal falls short of fixing the entire
problem and wouldn’t give Rauner the proper authority to spend the money.

“Why are you going off on this tangent right now rather than solving this problem?”
Murphy said. “The reason is this is an early test of the governor, and what you are
doing today is choosing to play politics with the lives of working mothers and their

Sponsoring Sen. Dan Kotowski, D-Park Ridge, said finding money to help ease the
budget crunch was the priority and detailing how Rauner could use it would follow.

“This is a steppingstone   — we need revenue first,” Kotowski said. “There is an
opportunity to file legislation out there and work with us; we have waited and we
have waited patiently. And quite frankly, I think any patience that we have, we’ve
run clear out of it.”

Questions remain about how the House will choose to proceed. Democratic House
Speaker Michael Madigan has said solving the immediate budget deficit will likely
take cuts and fund sweeps.

“I understand what was in committee will be taken under review, and we will
continue to work on something that’s a little more comprehensive as it relates to
this year,” Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said late Tuesday.

The measure could be voted on by the full Senate as soon as Thursday, though
Kotowski said he remains open to further negotiations.    Twitter @moniquegarcia

Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
815-464-1832 (CELL)