News Local/State

Illinois Senate Discusses Budget Privately, Takes No Vote

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton speaks to reporters

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, speaks to reporters outside Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's office during veto session at the Illinois State Capitol Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2016, in Springfield, Seth Perlman/Associated Press

The Illinois Senate passed another day in Springfield without a vote on its much-anticipated budget compromise. Democrats and Republicans discussed the plan separately in private meetings lasting hours Tuesday. But there were no votes on the plan. Democratic and Republican leaders have been discussing for weeks ways to break a nearly two-year budget stalemate.

Chicago Democratic Senate President John Cullerton and Republican Leader Christine Radogno of Lemont hoped they had a compromise budget to present shortly after the new year.

Senators spent hours behind closed doors, arguing about whether the deal negotiated by their leaders was good enough to end Illinois’ unprecedented budget fight.

It came a day after Senate President John Cullerton, a Democrat, made the case for his so-called grand bargain in a speech Monday before the City Club of Chicago.

“If not this plan, then what? If not now, then when?" he said.

But they failed twice in January to call it for a vote.
The wide-reaching proposal would raise income taxes to tame a multibillion-dollar deficit. It also includes business-friendly changes in law and local property-tax freeze that Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has insisted on.