News Local/State

Top Senators Said To Be Negotiating An End To Illinois’ Budget Stalemate

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton.

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, shown here in an undated photo, is one of the legislative leaders involved in a budget proposal set for a vote Monday in the Illinois Senate. Brian Mackey / WUIS

Illinois legislators return to Springfield Monday. Disagreements between Democrats and Republicans have left state government without a full budget for more than 18 months — though Senate leaders are now said be trying to hammer out a compromise.

Both parties have long agreed on what would be necessary to pass a balanced budget: cut spending and raise taxes.

But Gov. Bruce Rauner has also demanded that Democrats go along with his push for business-friendly laws and lower benefits for government workers.

Democrats refused — until now.

Published reports say Senate discussions include term limiting legislative leaders, changing how injured workers are compensated, and reducing pension benefits for government employees. In exchange for that, Illinois residents would pay higher income taxes.

Both Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan have thus far been excluded from the negotiations — and yet both would have to agree to the proposal before it could become a reality.