Budget stalemate continues in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, IL (KPLR) - The State of Illinois will not have a fiscal 2018 budget by the end of its Spring legislative session, which is midnight Wednesday night.

House Speaker Michael Madigan declared the chamber will spend the month of June in an effort to strike a deal between Democrats and Republican Governor Bruce Rauner.

The move pushes budget talks into an overtime session in which a tougher vote of a three fifths majority will be needed for approval.

The conflicts at the capitol set the stage for Illinois historic budget stalemate to continue into the summer leaving schools, universities and social providers that depend on state money without any answers.

House Speaker Michael J. Madigan issued the following statement:

“There is no more urgent matter facing the state than the passage of a comprehensive, balanced budget, and House Democrats will continue our efforts to address this challenge, end this destructive impasse and close the Rauner budget deficit. The House Democratic Budget Working Group led by Representative Greg Harris will hold public hearings and continue working in June to prepare a budget for the coming fiscal year. The first hearing will be held on June 8 in Chicago.

“The governor’s reckless strategy of holding the budget hostage to create leverage for his corporate agenda that pads the profits of large corporations and insurance companies has for the third year left Illinois without a budget at the end of the May legislative session. He has put our schools at risk of being unable to open, denied care to victims of domestic violence, kept tens of thousands of seniors from receiving Meals on Wheels, and tripled Illinois’ backlog of unpaid bills. This cannot continue.

“Where we can compromise with the governor without hurting middle-class families, House Democrats have consistently advanced measures that address the governor’s requests so we can get down to the work of passing a balanced budget. House Democrats have:

  • Voted to provide property tax relief to homeowners;
  • Put forward reforms to the workers’ compensation system that will ensure employers see the savings from reform;
  • Introduced an agenda of economic reforms that make Illinois a better place to do business while also lifting up middle-class families, not tearing them down;
  • Voted at the governor’s request to streamline the state procurement process;
  • Voted to sell the Thompson Center.

“I have directed members of the House Democratic leadership team to meet with the governor and seek common ground on his other proposals. To date, the governor has refused to meet.

“We remain ready to work with the governor and find common ground whenever he is ready to return to the table and work in good faith.”