Christine Radogno

Brian Mackey

The unprecedented Illinois budget impasse has ended ... for now. Lawmakers passed and the governor signed a partial budget Thursday, the final day of fiscal year 2016. But it's only a temporary patch.

The stalemate went longer than many expected.  

Since it began last July, rape crisis centers have closed. Meals on Wheels stopped delivering food to senior citizens. Illinois' credit rating dropped.

state of Illinois

  Illinois lawmakers left Springfield a month ago fractured, indignant and without a budget. They'll return this morning for another try at a compromise.

Gov. Bruce Rauner and the legislature's four top leaders met fairly often toward the end of May, when they were supposed to have passed a new state budget.

But the meetings were short, often taking less than an hour. And the leaders comments after were often curt.

Compare that with Tuesday night, when leaders met for three hours.

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Lawmakers only have two days to pass a budget before a pending deadline.  But even as top leaders came out of a meeting Sunday saying that a deal is “possible,” it was clear the chances are woefully slim.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has danced around it before. But this time, he didn't flinch. He says if it gets to his desk, he will reject in its entirety the only spending plan currently alive in the statehouse: a plan House Democrats approved last week.

"That's the bill that has a $7 billion implied deficit in it,” he said. “I will veto that bill."

Governor Rauner's relentless push for a reduction in unions' power and Democrats' sustained refusal to go along has Illinois set to round out an eleventh month without a budget.

It's under this backdrop that the two parties are also tasked with crafting next fiscal year's budget.

Indications early this week were that it wasn't going well.

House Speaker Michael Madigan said following a meeting with Rauner on Wednesday that the governor and his "agents" were "unpersuasive" in making the case for Rauner's agenda before small "working" groups.

"20110420-RD-LSC-0369" By Flickr User U.S. Department of Agriculture / (CC X 2.0)

Mixed messages came out of a meeting Tuesday between the Illinois governor and legislative leaders. It was their first meeting in months, even as Illinois is in the midst of an unprecedented budget standoff.

Senate President John Cullerton, a Democrat, left the meeting saying he got what he wanted out of it.

"The main thing I wanted to accomplish was to make sure that in the revenue side ... that the governor was committed to being in favor of some revenue increases, and he said he was," Cullerton said.

The results of two high-profile Illinois state races are widely seen as a referendum on Republican Governor Bruce Rauner's agenda. 

But a top Senate Republican says it's important to look at all the races.

Minority Leader Christine Radogno says members of both parties need to "get their act together" and work on a compromise.

"It's about this state facing a crisis and that crisis was there Monday before the election and it's still here on Thursday,” Radogno said.

WUIS

Legislators are trying to protect kids from measles, without offending anti-vaccine parents.

The outbreak of measles at a Palatine learning center in February has lawmakers wanting to protect children, but it's a politically sensitive topic.

When Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno presented her proposal to a legislative committee, she was upfront about her desire to not step on the toes of parents who choose to not vaccinate their kids, while at the same time wanting to protect children.

Amanda Vinicky / Illinois Public Radio

Members of Illinois' 98th General Assembly were sworn in today in Springfield. There are a number of new faces -- but the four at the top remain the same.