Illinois hasn't had a true state budget for a year and five months. Even so, there's some talk of trying to work ahead on a spending plan for the future. Anyone even remotely connected to state government will tell you one of the most difficult parts of going without a budget for so long is that it's created tremendous uncertainty.
That's what's behind Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno's recent call for an 18-month budget. It would take Illinois from January, when the stopgap plan that's currently in place will have expired, through the end of the next fiscal year, in June 2018.
"It would be wonderful for the people of this state not to have to worry about in just another couple of months. That is doable. It has not been done before.”
That would require a bipartisan agreement, one that is apt to include fundamental changes to state government, including deep cuts and a tax hike. And right now, the Republican governor and Democratic legislative leaders aren't even talking.