House Speaker Mike Madigan

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.

Illinois Issues: Can't Anybody Play This Game?

Jun 22, 2016

Illinois political leaders’ performance on the budget is reminiscent of the losingest team in modern baseball. 

Commentary — “Can’t Anybody Here Play This Game?” More than half a century ago, the legendary Charles Dillon Stengel voiced that lament out of frustration at the way the 1962 New York Mets he managed were performing on their way to losing a modern-era record 120 games.

Illinois Democrats say they will not pass Governor Bruce Rauner's last-minute pitch for a stopgap state budget, at least not Tuesday, the final day of the legislature's regular spring session.

Just days ago, Rauner's office nixed the idea of a temporary budget -- saying it'd kick the can down the road.

Now, he's had a "turnaround." He's pushing a plan to fund schools, finally pay what's owed to cash-starved social service agencies, and generally keep things running through the calendar year.

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.

Flickr user Daniel Borman / "Money, Money, Money" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois' Speaker of the House says there's no reason for the governor to further hold up funding for social services. 

Legislation passed earlier this month would give homeless, autism and elderly support organizations about half their usual state financing, meaning social services caught in the 11 month budget impasse may get some money.

"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.

Flickr user Pictures of Money / "Money" (CC BY 2.0)

An attempt to add a surtax on Illinois millionaires failed in the Illinois House today.

House Speaker and Democrat Michael Madigan has backed the idea that would raise more money for schools. 

Illinois now has a flat tax on everyone. Madigan wants a 3-percent additional tax added on income above one million dollars. 

Voters went along with a statewide advisory referendum on the issue in 2014.

Madigan: "It's time to listen to their voice, not the voice of the 1-percenters."

WUIS

The Illinois Governor and the four legislative leaders won't meet in Springfield this week after all.

The gathering has been postponed until next month.

Even with the state’s ongoing, unprecedented fiscal situation, Wednesday’s meeting would’ve been the first time since the end of May that Gov. Bruce Rauner and the General Assembly's four top Republicans and Democrats all got together.

State of Illinois

Illinois nears the end of August, and there's still no state budget in place. But House members will return to Springfield today.

The Illinois House controls the fate of a measure that's not a budget bill, per say, but which Gov. Bruce Rauner says could have major financial ramifications for the state.

It'd prevent his ability to lock out state workers -- something he's said he won't do -- as well as forbid employees from striking. Instead, an arbitrator would settle an impasse if Rauner and the AFSCME union can't agree to a new contract.

Amanda Vinicky / WUIS

Illinois Democrats say their party is strong and more energized than ever, thanks to Republican Governor Bruce Rauner.

The day after Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner accused them of holding up progress, hundreds of Democrats packed into a ballroom rose to their feet and clapped when Senate President John Cullerton said this:

"We are willing to work with Gov. Rauner, but we don't work for Gov. Rauner, okay?"

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