Deal in the making but Speaker says money is already there. I told you this was going to be
a wild ride. I will take any good news at this point. Story from Illinois Observer below.
Back to the convention.
Cullerton, Rauner Strike Deal to Rescind FY15 Cuts
Steans: Plan to Sweep $26 Million Has Bipartisan Support
EXTRA… A deal was struck on Tuesday between Senate President John Cullerton and
the Rauner Administration to restore the $26 million cut from the FY 2015 budget on Good
Friday by the governor.
Late on Tuesday afternoon a top Senate Democratic lawmaker alerted The Insider to the
newly minted deal which was confirmed later in the evening by Appropriations Committee
chair State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago).
According to Steans, the bi-partisan agreement was reached in negotiations between
senators and Budget Director Tim Nuding and involves additional fund sweeps totaling $26
million in order to fully restore funding to programs cut by Rauner on April 3.
Steans says that the additional money to be swept does not touch any cash from the Road
Fund, which lost nearly $500 million in the March sweeps.
Additionally, Steans says that she expects a bill implementing the accord to win nearly
unanimous support in the Senate on Wednesday.
Despite the Senate agreement, House Speaker Michael Madigan is unwilling to go along.
“We’re not signing on to the Senate agreement,” Madigan spokesman Steve Brown told
The Insider. “We believe that there is already sufficient money in the budget, which Nuding
acknowledged at today’s hearing.”
A special budget committee formed last week by Madigan held a hearing in Springfield
today to seek clarification from Administration officials on the Good Friday cuts.
The early maneuvering between the new GOP governor and the Democratic leaders
showed Cullerton more willing to be confrontational with Rauner while Madigan repeatedly
stressed his desire to work “professionally and cooperatively” with the state’s new chief
Many insiders have been speculating that the governor and the powerful House speaker
would be cutting deals at the expense of the Senate president.
The original FY 2015 fix, sweeping $1.3 billion and imposing 2.25% cuts of $300 million
across the board, including education, to fill a $1.6 billion hole was Madigan’s brainchild,
which a represented a compromise for Rauner who had sought $1.6 billion in sweeps
and no cuts to education.
And earlier today news broke that Rauner and Madigan had reached an agreement to
privatize the state’s economic development programs while shifting governing authority
over the Lincoln Museum away from the Historical Preservation Agency, a pet Madigan
But Rauner’s deal with Cullerton reveals the governor’s willingness to maneuver
between the legislature’s top Democrats and, perhaps, to exploit occasional tensions
that exist between the two chambers.
Additionally, and most important, it reveals Rauner’s ability to negotiate the kind of
deals with Democrats that his immediate predecessor never could. Whether the
governor can nudge the two Democrats onto the same page over the FY15 budget,
well, that remains to be seen.
Tony Paulauski Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423