Illinois Senate

"Wheelchair" by Flickr User zeevveez / (CC X 2.0)

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's administration is frustrating state senators by refusing to answer questions about where agencies could tighten their belts.

Several Senate committees grilled agency directors Tuesday about spending cuts to deal with a multibillion-dollar deficit. The Democratic-controlled committees teamed up to put Rauner on the spot.  They blame him for scuttling the Senate's negotiated budget compromise last week.  

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner says he's urged Republican state senators to keep negotiating for a budget compromise that's ``a good deal for taxpayers.''

The Illinois Senate has been working for months to pass a so-called ``grand bargain'' that could resolve a nearly two-year state budget impasse.

After a deal fell apart last week, Democratic Senate President John Cullerton blamed the Republican governor for sabotaging it. He says Rauner peeled off GOP votes that had been lined up to support an income tax increase, property tax freeze and other measures.

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Illinois moved a few inches closer to having a budget Tuesday. The state Senate began voting on its so-called “grand bargain.”

The deal has changes to business law long favored by Republicans, and a tax hike members of both parties have said is necessary to balance the state budget.

But none of that was called for a vote yet; instead, senators passed relatively easier bills, like those meant to make state and local government more efficient.

State of Illinois

The Senate adjourned abruptly early Wednesday evening after Democrats and Republicans held private caucus meetings that lasted more than three hours.

 

A spokesman for Democratic Senate President John Cullerton issued a statement saying Senate leaders continue to discuss the massive compromise plan, and the Senate will return to session today.

Leaders in the Illinois Senate are pressuring members to vote this week on a massive compromise. It would include a state budget.

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