Thursday, 24 January, 2019

Illinois House Republican Leader Focused On Budget Vote

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks at a news conference in Chicago Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks at a news conference in Chicago
Alfredo Watts | 28 June, 2017, 03:55

CHICAGO Staring down the start of a new fiscal year, Illinois House Democrats offered a budget on Tuesday that would spend less than the Republican governor's plan, but kept their specific revenue-raising proposal under wraps. They achieved the savings by cutting various things. Certain projects will receive funding cuts as well, including the $900 million set aside for computer software projects.

"My view is it's now the responsibility of the Republican leaders, Senator Radogno and Leader Durkin, to go to the governor".

Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, said Tuesday after a meeting between Democratic and Republican leaders that the House Democrats' plan is similar to what the Senate passed in May.

"I need to sell it to my caucus", Durkin says.

Republican leaders did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"Working together, our states and communities will build a modern, state-of-the-art project that showcases the quality of our workforce and creates economic opportunity for generations to come", Gov. Rauner said.

"We are the ones who have been criticized". We want to get this done.

The property tax freeze, which has been a longstanding Rauner demand, was proposed separate from the budget. Democrats say Rauner has been holding the budget "hostage" with these conditions, but the governor counters that his agenda is necessary to improve business confidence in IL. "Not mine." said Speaker Madigan.

He also questioned Madigan's plan to hold votes Wednesday on Democrat-drafted legislation aimed at satisfying Rauner's demands for reforms, saying it was "not healthy" for the process.

Earlier Monday, Durkin, a Western Springs Republican, called negotiations on workers' comp, a pension overhaul and a property-tax freeze "a positive step forward, but that's not everything".

The House has yet to put out a revenue plan, which will include an income tax hike, or a budget implementation bill.

Meanwhile, attorneys in a lawsuit over $2 billion in unpaid Medicaid bills say court-ordered talks to resolve the issue haven't made progress and they're asking a judge to order IL to start paying $1 billion a month as it heads into a third year without a budget.