After the Illinois Senate failed to take action Wednesday on items from its elusive bipartisan budget deal, Senate President John Cullerton blamed Gov. Bruce Rauner for inserting himself in the ongoing negotiations.
With a level of partisan divide resembling the acrimony that has characterized Congress, Democrats in the General Assembly roundly dismissed Gov. Bruce Rauner's 2017 budget proposal as more of the same exhausted rhetoric. The Senate was expected to vote Wednesday on a list of bills from the "grand bargain", including education funding, workers' compensation reform, pension reform, and a proposed property tax freeze, among others.
IL has now racked up a staggering backlog of bills it can't afford to pay that tops $12 billion; Cullerton says if legislators and the governor fail to pass a budget this year, he doubts it will be possible next year, when there's an election.
Springfield- What started as a bi-partisan "Grand Compromise" has soon turned into a partisan finger pointing after the Illinois Senate delayed a vote yet again on their package of budget bills. While Democrats have a supermajority in the Senate, they are unwilling to go it alone on the various tax hikes and pension changes included in the budget package. "One more thing means no, and that's the message we heard loud and clear today".
Local state senators still see hope for a state budget agreement.
"It's not as if anyone's walking away or the governor's been heavy-handed with us", McConnaughay said.
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Rauner has demanded the property tax freeze be permanent as part of a budget deal.
"We're talking about a pretty massive number of issues here and now you're down to a handful", he said. "He will be happy to share his opinion, but I think that's a complete mischaracterization". "You've got to remember that this is hard, this is tough".
But a Senate Democrat filed legislation Thursday spelling out services that could be subject to the state sales tax to battle a budget deficit.
RADOGNO: "If we don't get this moving by the 28th, we may as well just go home".
Senate Democrats also accused Rauner of threatening Republicans who were on the verge of voting in favor of the grand bargain. "I think it's the governor who told them that that's what he wants". Cullerton used a procedure that allows him to recall it, but he didn't say when. "What's important here is that we recognize here is that this is not yet a done deal we need to finalize these details and these negotiations obviously we want to make sure that we get it right but we need to finish it." said Senator Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington).
"We can not raise income taxes permanently in exchange for a temporary property-tax freeze", Kelly said. Of course we can, we've been doing that for a month with the Senate Republicans. "But he's got to grow up and get this solved". Republican leader Christine Radogno did not deny Cullerton's accusations.