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Rauner, lawmakers remain deadlocked on budget; time is short

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Just a few days remain in this legislative session for Governor Bruce Rauner and Democratic leaders to solve their differences over the budget crisis. (WLS)

Time is running out in this legislative session for Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and Democratic leaders to solve their differences over the budget crisis. The deadline for the regular session to end is Tuesday night at midnight.

On Memorial Day at the Capitol, lawmakers from both parties are worried there might not be a budget for as long as Rauner is governor.

"That's absolutely frightening. We can't go for three years without a budget," said State Rep. David Harris, R-Mt. Prospect.

"It really should not have to be and we should be better about the business of governing than we have been," said State Rep. Elaine Nekritz, D-Buffalo Grove.

Calling for a "continuing session" during the summer, Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan also continues to call Rauner's demanded pro-business, union-weakening reforms attacks on the middle class.

"There are a lot of rank-and-file Democrats frankly who don't want to go off the cliff the speaker is leading them off," said State Sen. Matt Murphy, R-Palatine.

Last week, Madigan's House Democrats passed a budget that proposed spending billions more than the state collects in taxes.

"Spending $7 billion more than revenue we're taking in is ridiculous," said State Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris.

Some Democrats, now considering the bill in the Senate, are skeptical.

"I want a budget that has the amount of money that we need to handle the services and things that our constituents demand," said State Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields.

Unrelated to the budget, super-majority Senate Democrats overrode Rauner's veto of a bill that would give the city of Chicago more time to pay its pension debt. Getting an override super-majority in the House will be more difficult.

After 11 months without one, the biggest concern remains the budget, which few here expect to be resolved by Tuesday night's deadline.

"Not by tomorrow. Things change quickly around here, but there's a lot of big items that are being discussed. The good news is they're being discussed," State Rep. Nekritz said.

If there is no agreement by Tuesday night at midnight, then it will take a three-fifths majority to get any bill passed in the House or Senate. That could make it virtually impossible to get anything done budget-wise before the next regular session next year.

Related Topics:
politicspoliticsillinois budgetSpringfield
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