In the past it has always come down to the Legislative Leaders and the Governor working
out the details of the final state budget. Truth is the Governor and the Legislative Leaders
have not met in about two months until yesterday, Friday.
Depending upon who you talk to, some say a possible agreement could happen but
The Dept of Human Services budget has not yet been sent to the Governor.
At this point it remains a waiting game which will probably be the case throughout the
I wished I had better news. I feel like I’m sharing the same opinions almost on a daily
basis. Stay tuned. We shall overcome.
Story from the State Journal Register below summarizes where we are.
Rauner won’t call special session to reach budget agreement,
wants action by Sunday
By Doug Finke
Gov. Bruce Rauner said Friday that there is still time for lawmakers to act on parts of
his “turnaround agenda” before Sunday’s scheduled adjournment, while Democratic
legislative leaders said they doubt there is still time to act on it.
Instead, Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, said negotiations can continue
beyond Sunday in an attempt to reach a compromise on the Republican governor’s
Rauner and the four legislative leaders met for about an hour Friday and discussed both
the status of the state budget and the reforms Rauner has insisted must be passed
before he will consider any discussions of tax hikes to balance the budget.
Cullerton, Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno of Lemont and House
Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs all left the meeting saying they were
encouraged that progress was made.
Cullerton said Rauner’s agenda is back in discussion even though Senate Democrats
voted down three components of it this week in committee hearings.
“It’s always been something we’re open to negotiating,” Cullerton said.
But he warned that those negotiations won’t be done by Sunday’s scheduled
“We’re running out of time to pass a lot of things that he wants to get passed,” Cullerton
said. “It would be very difficult to get an agreement on the language of a number of those
proposals in that short a period of time.”
Cullerton said the leaders are willing to negotiate on Rauner’s agenda into June and
that rank-and-file lawmakers do not have to be in Springfield while those talks continue.
He said the legislature would pass a new spending plan “because we know we have to.”
The spending plan Democrats have crafted is more than $3 billion out of balance by their
own admission. The budget calls for about $36 billion in spending, but state revenues next
year will only be about $33 billion.
None of the budget bills has yet been sent to Rauner. The legislature has 30 days to send
bills to the governor after they are passed.
Rauner said he would not sign “a fake budget, a phony budget, an unbalanced budget.”
“There is an interest in passing an unbalanced budget and trying to push a significant tax
hike on the people of Illinois,” Rauner said. “To me, that is completely unacceptable.”
At the same time, Rauner said he will not call the legislature back into special session
because it will add needless costs to the state.
While saying he was pleased to hear the leaders are willing to negotiate on his agenda
items, Rauner said he needs to see evidence of their sincerity by Sunday. He would not
say what that evidence had to be.
“We will know by Sunday night whether the comments made today are sincere or not,”
Rauner said. “We’ll either have a deal by Sunday night, or we won’t. Anybody who says
we didn’t have enough time, that’s baloney. We’ve had plenty of time.”
Rauner said the two most important parts of his agenda were workers’ compensation
reform and a property tax freeze. Both of those items were rejected by votes in the full
House and by Senate committees.
Durkin said Rauner stressed repeatedly in the meeting the importance of doing something
on workers’ compensation and property taxes.
“We may be able to find some common ground on those,” Durkin said. “I believe the
speaker and the president have a willingness to work with us on those two particular
Radogno said, “There is a recognition that the only way we’re going to finally resolve this
issue is from negotiation on both sides.”
“The governor also made it clear he is ready to dig in for the long haul,” she added.
“He’s not going to be forced into some short-term solution that is not good for the state
in the long run.”