Published: Thu, June 22, 2017
Medicine | By Daryl Nelson

A look at Illinois' budget mess as lawmakers head to Capitol

A look at Illinois' budget mess as lawmakers head to Capitol

Advocates and supporters of equitable educational funding throughout IL secured a tentative victory from the state legislature - all that remains is a few strokes from Governor Bruce Rauner's pen to make it complete. That means this fiscal mess will only become worse unless a budget deal can be reached by July 1. Speaker (Michael) Madigan and the Democrats will need Republican votes if they want to end this impasse.

The Multi-State Lottery Association last week said it would drop IL at the end of the month if there is no state budget agreement, according to a report.

"The governor has been exploiting the divisions between Chicago and the rest of the state and using coded language to play off people's fears", said Pawar in a statement emailed to Chicagoist. Still, there was no shortage of partisanship on display when the Republican plan was outlined and the special session called.

"I can not overstate that there is no time like the present", Durkin said.

Democrats dismissed Rauner's speech as campaigning, saying he hasn't shown unity in his tenure.

The Republicans, under their fearless Leader, Gov. Rauner, argued that with reforms, spending cuts and spending caps, the budget could be balanced, without massive tax increases. Ultimately, though, Democrats in the Senate approved those measures without any Republican support.

Pressure is mounting with just 10 days before the next fiscal year starts on July 1.

A special session, or a continuous special session, is a period when the House and Senate convene following the end of the regular session. Without a budget, the General Assembly held a continuous session through June.

"Having a single partisan press conference, laying out your demands with no wiggle room, is not a compromise", Frerichs said Wednesday morning in Champaign.

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"We're still talking to the state", said Tom Yates, executive director of Legal Council for Health Justice, who is representing the state's 3 million Medicaid recipients.

She said it will help pay the IL bill backlog which now sits at a record $14.3 billion. "It funds schools, higher education, and human services", said Rauner.

The property tax freeze includes an exemption on local governments with existing debt service payments as requested by Senate Democrats, but also would allow residents to lower or increase their taxes through voter referendum. Though we have retreated from it a bit, though at the steep cost of even higher taxes, lingering debt and pension obligations mean we are far from being out of danger, and we must heed the warnings of IL to avoid falling right back into that woeful situation.

Ives also said the reforms don't go near far enough to improve the state's economy and jobs climate.

The first day of a special session on Illinois' budget impasse is off to a slow start.

"I think if he is serious about passing a budget he would not be running television commercials, spending millions of dollars attacking people on the other side of the negotiating table".

"Tonight, Bruce Rauner tried to reset his failing tenure as Governor of IL by offering nothing new in terms of policy or message".

"Failure to act is not an option", Rauner said in speech on the eve of the special session.

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