No End to Illinois’ Budget Fight

Feb 7, 2017

Credit Paul Coussens

After 19 months without a state budget, Illinois senators today were not yet ready to move forward on a compromise plan intended to end the impasse.  Democrats and Republicans 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 in Chicago.

“If not this plan, then what? If not now, then when?”

Not today, apparently.  A spokesman for Cullerton says after the nearly four-hour long meeting, Democrats will continue to work on the deal, which would include a state budget, tax increases, and changes in law meant to help businesses.

The failure of Governor Bruce Rauner and the General Assembly to agree on a spending plan has devastated Illinois’ support for people in need… and forced public universities to lay off hundreds of people.