With the clock ticking down on the end of the 2017 Fiscal Year, Gov. Rauner is calling lawmakers back to Springfield for a 10-day special session to continue their work toward passage of a balanced budget before Illinois lapses into its third-straight year without a budget.
Despite statements made by Senate President John Cullerton last week stating that the Senate has done its work, Senate Republicans remain adamant that the Senate Democrats’ partisan budget and watered-down reforms are a stark departure from the Senate budget and reform package being discussed in bipartisan working groups until Senate Democrats opted to move forward with their own agenda.
Despite Illinois’ ongoing uphill battle to keep businesses from leaving, one of the world’s largest retailers is expanding facilities and bringing jobs to the state.
With the end of the Fiscal Year only weeks away, Senate Republicans joined their House colleagues to unveil a comprehensive, balanced budget proposal this week urging Democrat leaders to come back to the negotiation table, take up bipartisan compromise once more, and pass a balanced budget before Illinois enters its third-straight year without a budget.
On June 13, I will be hosting a town hall event at the Rolling Meadows Park District Community Center Auditorium at 7:00 p.m.
State Senator Tom Rooney (Rolling Meadows) joined Comcast Newsmakers to discuss Illinois' ongoing budget impasse and the need for lawmakers to come back to the table to work together to pass a balanced budget.
It was déjà vu at the Illinois State Capitol on May 31 as the General Assembly adjourned once again without passing a truly balanced budget or some of the critical structural reforms needed to bring jobs and financial stability back to the state. While Senate Republicans had made real attempts this spring to engage in bipartisan negotiations with Democrats on a truly balanced budget and reforms, the Legislature adjourned without completing that work.
Republican lawmakers continue to advocate for meaningful education funding reform, saying a newly amended Democrat school funding plan pushed through the Senate in the final hours of the regularly scheduled spring legislative session is based on flawed, misleading data that disguises a massive bailout for Chicago’s school system at the expense of every other district in the state.
As the regularly scheduled spring legislative session came to a close on May 31, a number of pro-business groups labeled it “one of the worst for employers,” citing a number of anti-employer and anti-job growth measures that cleared the Legislature this year, as well as a lack of progress on major reforms like workers’ compensation reform and property tax relief.
As the final day of the regularly scheduled spring legislative came to a close, Illinois Democrat leaders passed a minimum wage increase that critics worry would stifle job-growth, hurt small businesses struggling to stay afloat in a difficult economy, drive up consumer costs and potentially cost hardworking people their jobs as businesses make cuts to meet the demand for higher minimum wage costs.
The Illinois General Assembly adjourned on May 31 without passing a balanced budget with reforms that would help end the current budget impasse.
Every year since 2003, the General Assembly, over the objections of legislative Republicans, has passed unbalanced budgets that are predicated on either higher taxes, a scheme of skipping scheduled payments to the state’s retirement systems and vendors, or raiding dedicated funds. The proposed Fiscal Year 2017 and Fiscal Year 2018 budget “fix” continues that same old playbook, after legislative Democrats walked away from the negotiating table early this week.
Senate Democrats also walked away from the negotiating table when it comes to passing meaningful reforms to fix the state’s broken workers’ compensation system.
In some positive action during the week, the Senate passed legislation to re-launch a program to help people with mental and physical disabilities find employment.
Another important measure was advanced by the Senate to require the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to publish cost estimates highlighting the impact unfunded mandates have on local governments. Senate Bill 2066 is awaiting action by the Governor.