- Associated Press - Monday, June 26, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Latest on state budget negotiations in Springfield (all times local):

4:50 p.m.

Gov. Bruce Rauner is unfazed by House Democrats’ challenge to accept whatever deals Republican lawmakers negotiate with Democrats on so-called “non-budget” issues.

Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan of Chicago and Republican Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs agreed Monday that the two sides are negotiating long-held pet issues of the Republican governor. They include cost-saving changes to the workers’ compensation and employee-pension programs and a property-tax freeze.

But Madigan says Durkin must then convince Rauner to agree to the compromises lawmakers make on those issues. Madigan says Rauner has changed his mind in such situations previously.

Rauner spokeswoman Eleni Demertzis (ih-LEH’-nee dih-MURT’-ziss) declined comment. But she noted that Rauner sent a tweet Monday that noted lawmakers have “four more days to send a balanced budget to my desk. Stop wasting time.”


2:55 p.m.

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan says Democrats are finalizing a proposed state budget plan and could present it to minority Republicans as soon as Tuesday.

Madigan and fellow Chicago Democratic Rep. Greg Harris would not discuss details but said they’re devising a spending plan and revenue to pay for it. It might be ready for discussion at Tuesday’s meeting of the four legislative leaders.

Harris says designated House Democrats continue meeting with Republican colleagues to discuss “non-budget” issues demanded by GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner. They include cost-saving changes to workers’ compensation and employee-pension programs and a property tax freeze.

The demands are among the reasons Illinois has not had an annual budget plan for two years. The stalemate has driven the deficit over $6 billion. The fiscal year begins Saturday.


1 p.m.

Illinois House Republicans say they have narrowed their focus on issues tangential to a budget agreement.

House Minority Leader Jim Durkin of Western Springs said Monday that leaders in his caucus have met with Democrats to negotiate cost-saving changes to the workers’ compensation and state employee pension-benefits programs. They also want a four-year freeze on local property taxes in exchange for a four-year income tax increase.

Lawmakers and GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner are trying to avoid the July 1 start of a third consecutive year without a budget. The deficit is over $6 billion with a $15 billion pile of past-due bills.

But Durkin says he wants to see a budget proposal from Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan of Chicago. Madigan has additional issues he wants discussed.

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide