SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Latest on budget negotiations in the Illinois General Assembly (all times local):
Illinois Senate Democrats have scheduled votes for measures in the so-called “grand bargain” budget compromise.
Assistant Majority Leader Donne (DAHN’-nee) Trotter of Chicago says the Senate will call each piece of legislation in the plan for votes on Wednesday. He says time is running out to agree to the state’s first budget in two years. The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn May 31.
The grand bargain is a package of bills Republicans and Democrats have negotiated since January. They answer a multibillion-dollar deficit with an income tax increase and also respond to GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner’s demands for cost savings in workers’ compensation and a property tax freeze.
The plan was that none of the bills would take effect unless all were approved. Trotter says the Senate needs to know where the votes are for agreeing to a budget. So each bill will stand alone. Even bills that have passed were recalled Tuesday to be voted on again as stand-alone measures.
Patty Schuh (shoo) is spokeswoman for Republican Leader Christine Radogno (ruh-DOHN’-yoh) of Lemont. She says Radogno remains hopeful negotiations can continue.
The Illinois Senate has scheduled a do-over for some pieces of legislation that are part of the so-called grand bargain budget compromise.
Democrats who control the Senate on Tuesday used a procedure to move bills that have already been approved by the Senate back into position for votes again.
The grand bargain is a package Democratic and Republican lawmakers have been negotiating to break a two-year budget stalemate with GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner. None of the bills goes into effect unless all are approved.
The two sides have been unable to agree on the key issues but have OK’d six measures to expand legalized gambling, consolidate local governments, fund state operations for the current fiscal year that ends June 30, and more.
Democrats wouldn’t say why they made the move. Republican Sen. Dave Syverson (SEE’-vur-sun) of Rockford says Democrats might be tweaking language or readying the measures to be approved apart from the grand bargain.
Top Illinois House Democrats are publicly asking Gov. Bruce Rauner why the Republican won’t meet with them on state budget matters with just two weeks left in the spring legislative session.
House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie of Chicago and three other Democrats wrote Rauner last week offering to discuss an agreement on Illinois’ first annual budget since 2015.
Currie told reporters Tuesday she’s not received a response. She notes that House Democrats are willing to discuss Rauner’s demands for workers’ compensation restrictions and a property-tax freeze. Rauner has demanded those and other changes before agreeing to a budget plan since 2015.
Currie says Democrats have their own ideas too.
Rauner said at a separate event that Democrats are trying to “create a distraction” to the Senate’s attempts at compromise.