Former GOP Legislator: Game Of Chicken On Budget Would Be ‘Grotesquely Irresponsible’


The Illinois legislature reconvenes in Springfield today for a summer session with many issues to resolve before the end of the state’s fiscal year on June 30th. 

Rick Winkel witnessed these budget battles up close during his time in the Illinois House and Senate. He now serves as director of the Office of Public Leadership for the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

Winkel says that although there have been many budget confrontations in the past involving the governor and the state legislature, this year with Governor Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan feels a bit different to him.

“The players are different. They are both very disciplined, very capable," he says.  "They know exactly what they want, and they want to keep what they have, and they’re not going to budge.”

But Winkel says that, in the end, he does think that Rauner and Madigan will be able to hammer out a budget agreement.

"We’ve got to come to the table," he says."Figure out what revenues need to be enhanced.  Sufficient to take care of at least part of the problem.  But the rest of it is to cut spending.  Spending is going to have to be cut significantly.  There’s going to be losers here.”  

And with both sides getting ready for a summer of political fights, Winkel says the pressure to find a compromise is rising.

“If we go past June 30th into the next fiscal year without a budget, then it becomes a game of chicken, which is completely, grotesquely irresponsible on both sides."

Story source: WILL