News Local/State

GOP Rose Rips Senate Dems’ Budget Bill; Democrat Bennett Defends It


Republicans including state Senator Chapin Rose of Mahomet quickly criticized a $37.3 billion budget package passed Tuesday by the Illinois Senate.

Rose says the bill would not balance the budget. He also complains that Democrats passed the leislaiton without discussing workers’ compensation changes. Republicans led by Gov. Bruce Rauner say lower workers’ compensation rates would encourage hiring, improve the economy and ease the need to raise taxes to pay for a budget.

“You have to have people working in jobs that pay well with benefits and get the economy of this state moving again," said Rose before the state Senate. "And you’re never going to get that if you don’t fix workers comp rates.”

But Democrats like Senator Scott Bennett of Champaign say the budget legislation they passed would spend the same amount of money that Gov. Rauner proposed in February. And they say their budget would be balanced by a proposed tax increase also passed by the Senate on Tuesday, and other measures.

Bennett says other issues can still be negotiated. But with the May 31 end of the spring legislative session drawing near, he says lawmakers need to pass a budget.

Illinois has not had a full state budget in almost two years.