Bipartisan Compromise Could End Illinois' Budget Standoff

Feb 6, 2017

The Illinois Senate could begin voting tomorrow on a bipartisan compromise meant to end the state's budget standoff.  Senate President John Cullerton says for every day without a spending plan, Illinois goes 11 million dollars deeper in debt.

"We have a chance to end this dysfunction. We have a chance to restore stability and sanity to our finances. I would ask for your help in convincing my colleagues that this is the right thing to do, and now is the right time to do it."

In January, Senate President John Cullerton presented the bipartisan budget deal he negotiated with his Republican counterpart.
Credit Brian Mackey / Illinois Public Radio

It could be a difficult series of votes for some legislators.  Business and labor have come out against the deal which includes a tax hike, cuts in government pensions, and more casino gambling across the state.

Meanwhile, Governor Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan have refused to say whether they support or oppose it.  Illinois has gone 19 months without a full budget. That's led to hundreds of layoffs at state universities, and deep cuts in Illinois' social safety net.