More Meetings On State Budget, No Apparent Progress

November 29, 2016

Governor Bruce Rauner and Illinois legislative leaders are scheduled to meet to discuss the state budget on Tuesday. But after a budget meeting on Monday, even people in the meeting were not sure if any progress was being made.

The heart of the mess in state government comes down to priorities: Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner wants his corporate agenda passed before he'll talk about balancing the budget through taxes and spending cuts.

Democrats, however, say the budget should come first.

Until now. Sort of.

Senate President John Cullerton says as a next step, he'll offer counter-proposals on worker's compensation and state pensions.

But House Speaker Michael Madigan is still only talking about the budget.

"If we continue to use the framework which has been used on seven successful budgets, why we'll be able to finish our work and do a budget”, said Madian.

Those seven times refer to partial, patchwork and other stop-gap funding plans — all passed without Rauner's corporate agenda as a precondition.

Republicans say those weren't real budgets and they won't go down that path again.

Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno said she had trouble making sense out of the Democats’ approach.

"You could see from the way the Democrat leaders came out, that it's hard to know what's going on here”, said Radogno, following the meeting. “It's unclear who we're even negotiating with."

Story source: Illinois Public Radio