Slow start to Illinois session called to solve budget fight

Slow start to Illinois session called to solve budget fight

After the General Assembly failed to pass a budget earlier this month, Rauner said the state is "like a banana republic".

The treasurer warned that if no budget is approved by July 1 - the beginning of the new fiscal year - "you'll have a continuation of what has been happening".

Republicans say Speaker Madigan should adopt their plan or present his own. He and Democratic majority lawmakers in the Illinois House and Senate have not been able to agree on revenue and spending plans.

The numbers are starting to reach the more-than-worrisome stage: a $6.2 billion deficit in the current budget year than ends June 30; $15 billion in unpaid bills; and an unfunded pension obligation somewhere in the neighborhood of $120 billion.

"They have an outline of a spending plan", he said. Still, there was no shortage of partisanship on display when the Republican plan was outlined and the special session called.

"He's only been seen on the floor two times this year".

Democrats say the governor's call for "unity" rings hollow, since Rauner and the Republican Party have been attacking Democrats in TV commercials and direct mail.

However, the conservative Illinois Policy Institute...usually loyal to Rauner...blasted the budget plan because it includes a four-year income tax hike. Democrats have argued that they've taken up several ideas, but Republicans keep changing their demands.




"There is no need for a tax increase in the state of IL until we've done the structural reform that we have to to prove that we have earned a tax increase", Ives said. That issue is among those Rauner has pushed as a prerequisite to a broader spending agreement, amid opposition from Democrats who say the governor's proposals would harm employees injured on the job.

The House adjourned without calling any of the Senate's budget bills to the floor for a vote. Two other Democrats have raised over $1 million: Chris Kennedy, nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy, and state Sen. Sen. Without a budget, the General Assembly held a continuous session through June. Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti said IL has a compromise solution on the table and if lawmakers pass it, the governor promises to sign it.

Senator Don Harmon said Rauner's speech was more of the same. It funds human service programs and will ensure road construction projects will continue through the summer.

She said it will help pay the IL bill backlog which now sits at a record $14.3 billion.

So much for trying to get things off to a smooth start. "After more than 700 days of blocking compromise it's up to you to prove that you are finally ready to put the needs of IL families ahead of political games and start working in good faith on the budget." said Rep. Harris. This special session will tell IL residents who wants to govern.

Low credit ratings make it more hard for the state to borrow money and it makes the cost of borrowing more expensive Analysts believe that downgrades into junk status will make lending IL money too risky in some instances. Rauner said lawmakers need to act by then.

"Governor Rauner has made it clear that he has no interest in unifying legislators and passing a balanced budget", Bush said. Failure, he said, is not an option.

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