Illinois Senate chamberABC7 Chicago - May 10, 2017 | original article

Republicans cut short an attempt by Illinois Senate Democrats to recharge the "grand bargain" budget compromise with time running out on the legislative session.

The grand bargain is a package of legislation Senate leaders designed last winter to break what has become a two-year logjam on an annual spending plan.

But sticking points continue to be GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner's demands for restrictions on workers' compensation payouts and a permanent property tax freeze for homeowners.

The Senate voted 35-15 to give local governments flexibility on paying debts. It's one of the few measures with bipartisan support in a package that's supposed to help break a logjam on a state budget deal.

Democratic Senate President John Cullerton of Chicago then tried to call workers' comp and tax-freeze legislation Rauner won't accept. Republican Leader Chrstine Radogno of Lemont declined to let her bills go up for a vote.

Cullerton says he can't compromise on the bills further. Radogno says he has to and that the two sides are "very close."

State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) released a statement, saying, "For months, Senate Republicans and the governor have said, 'Just one more thing and the deal will be good. We just need a little more time.' We've changed the Grand Bargain bills over 30 times to meet Republican demands. We tried compromising on non-budgetary reforms, but the Republicans and Governor Rauner have made it clear that no compromise will ever be good enough. They say they need a little more time, but we don't have any more time. The end of session is just three weeks away. The people of Illinois can't wait any longer. Passing a balanced budget must be our sole focus."

The state has gone two years without a budget. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and legislative Democrats have tussled over a tax increase to battle a deficit while Rauner demands regulatory changes such as restrictions on workers' compensation payouts and a freeze on local property taxes.

Category: In The News

opioid crisis button