Today, the Executive Forum meets in Lisle with a full agenda.
The Arc’s Governmental Affairs Consultant Phil Milsk will take us through the last days of the legislative session. The state continues to operate without a state budget leaving disability and human service providers hanging once again. Now we move into overtime and that means any bill that passes will require a super majority for passage. Legislators last night stated they would try to work together to pass a six month interim budget. We’ll see about that!
Director Greg Fenton will address the Forum discussing the 1115 Waver and CMS review of our current community waivers among other issues.
Nicole Jorwic from The Arc will review the new overtime rules and residential exceptions.
Bob Okazaki a member of the Executive Director Search Committee will discuss the work of find a new Executive Director.
Story on last night budget battle in the Capitol from the State Journal Register.
Democratic leaders reject Gov. Rauner’s push for
Gov. Bruce Rauner and state legislators continued to haggle over a state budget on the final day of the spring legislative session on Tuesday, May 31, 2016.
Senate and House Republicans line the steps of the second floor as a backdrop
By Doug Finke
State Capitol Bureau
Posted May. 31, 2016 at 9:20 amUpdated at 12:50 AM
Democratic legislative leaders rejected a last-minute plea from Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner to pass a stopgap budget, setting the stage for Illinois to continue as the only state in the country with no spending plan in place.
That ignominious distinction was solidified when the Senate late Tuesday soundly defeated a spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1 that was approved by House Democrats last week. Rauner has criticized it as being $7 billion out of balance.
The vote in the Senate was 17 for, 31 against and 10 voting “present.”
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner
The Senate did approve a stand-alone bill to pay for K-12 education that could ensure schools will open on time this fall. The House, however, overwhelmingly rejected the $16 billion bill on a 24-92 vote taken at 11:45 p.m.
Earlier, the Senate Democrats rejected a $40 billion budget proposal that the House had passed. That bill was $7 billion out of balance and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner had threatened to veto it.
The budget approved previously by the House covered outlays for K-12 education, state worker health care, higher education and some human services programs that aren’t already covered by court orders or consent decrees.
The Governor said he would veto the bill because it spends far more than is available to pay for it. He said he will veto any similar spending plan that is out of balance.
“I will always veto dramatically out-of-balance budgets,” Rauner said at a Tuesday afternoon news conference where he pressed Democrats to approve his stopgap spending measure. “The Democrats have spent our state into the toilet for 30 years. We’re like a banana republic.”
After downplaying the idea of a stopgap budget when Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, suggested it last week, Rauner late Monday suggested that very idea. The plan was not linked to approval of any of his pro-business agenda items that have met resistance from Democrats so far.
“This proposal is not designed as a full-year budget,” Rauner’s budget director, Tim Nuding, said in a memo. “It is designed as a bridge plan that allows schools to open, keeps the lights on, protects public safety and prevents a government shutdown.”
Tax hike ploy?
Earlier in the day, House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago, said he’s willing to consider the stopgap budget plan advanced by Rauner, but that it would not be voted on Tuesday.
“I told the governor that I thought we ought to take his proposal and send it to one of the working groups that he created,” Madigan said after a short meeting with Rauner and the other legislative leaders. “I made that clear in the meetings that it’s not something that will happen today.”
Rauner, though, said it had to happen by Tuesday’s midnight deadline to finish the spring session, because after that, it takes more votes in the House and Senate to pass a budget or any other legislation.
Rauner again accused Democrats of trying to build pressure for a post-election income tax hike.
“They just want to appropriate the spending, let our unpaid bills pile up, and then after the general election in November, put in a massive income tax hike,” Rauner said.
By contrast, the governor said his stopgap plan would keep state services running through the rest of 2016 without a tax hike by using money that is already available.
Rauner’s plan calls for a stand-alone K-12 budget separate from the rest of the proposal to ensure that schools will open on time this fall, as well as a “hold harmless” provision so that no school district would get less money next year than this year.
The plan also allocates $600 million for higher education and $450 million for a variety of programs including food for prisons and residential facilities, utility payments for state facilities, and fuel for state vehicles.
Rauner’s stopgap budget also authorizes spending that does not come out of general state taxes. That includes things like public works construction projects idled because of the budget stalemate, emergency repairs to state facilities, highway construction for next year and low-income heating and energy assistance.
Republican leaders criticized the Democrats for not considering the stopgap budget.
“We are obviously at a point in time where the Democratic leaders have made it crystal clear there will not be a balanced budget by tonight,” said Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno of Lemont. “This (stopgap budget) could be done by midnight. We have all seen the Democrats act very quickly. They are unwilling to do that.”
“For them to suggest it can’t be done today is laughable,” said House Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs. “You’ve seen how they’ve been able to move mountains in a matter of minutes.”
Rauner said late Tuesday afternoon that the spring session would be a “stunning failure” by Democrats who control the legislature if they fail to pass a balanced budget or any of the reforms he says are needed to improve the state’s economy.
Rauner has threatened to call lawmakers back into special session if they don’t approve a balanced budget. He would not commit to anything Tuesday.
“We’ll discuss the issues around the sessions in the coming days,” Rauner said.
— Staff writer Drew Zimmerman and The Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact Doug Finke, email@example.com, 788-1527,twitter.com/dougfinkesjr.
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