LOVES PARK (WREX) –
Governor Bruce Rauner made a stop in the Stateline Thursday afternoon to give an update on the state’s budget negotiations.
The governor got right to the point.
“We have now the biggest debt of any state in America, we have the biggest deficits of any state in America,” said Gov. Rauner. “We have the biggest unfunded pensions of any state in America, we have the highest unemployment rate of any state in America, we lead the nation in out-migration, people leaving the state.”
The deadline to pass a budget for the 2016 fiscal year has come and gone. But there’s still more work to be done. That’s why Republican lawmakers with Rauner Thursday want to act now instead of after the November election.
“We need to work together, we need to compromise,” said Rep. Joe Sosnowski, (R) District 69. “Let’s work on a package of bills, a budget that makes sense.”
Governor Rauner has proposed two bills that will fund schools and also critical government operations through December.
“We would have a fully-funded budget for ’16, and we would have a half a year budget for ’17 which would bring us up to January 1st,” said Rep. John Cabello, (R) District 68.
Getting anything passed now will require more of a consensus. A three-fifths majority instead of a simple majority, which could make compromise between both parties even harder to come by.
“If we vote for K-12 budget tomorrow even, that we would come to the table and make sure that human services and all those other appropriations areas get the funding that they need,” said Rep. Litesa Wallace, (D) District 67.
Something both sides can agree on.
“There’s a time for politics for in elections, let’s put the politics aside and let’s just pass some common sense measures that 49 other states have done,” said State Sen. Dave Syverson, (R) District 35. “Let’s just do that and move Illinois forward.”
The next fiscal year starts July 1. The general assembly meets next week to vote on these proposed bills.