SpringfieldThe plan is to pass a budget that's out of balance.
Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) said Democrats, who hold supermajorities in the House and Senate, would run a “spending plan” this week for about $36.3 billion worth of expenditures.
“We will publicly acknowledge that we don't have the money to pay for this budget,” Madigan told reporters Monday afternoon, “but we're prepared to work with the governor (and) negotiate with the governor to raise the money so that there is a balanced budget.”
Madigan, who said the gap was about $3 billion, said there would be increases in K-12 education but cuts to higher education, among other boosts and reductions in his party's plan.
Madigan, during about twelve minutes at the lectern, repeatedly voiced his disagreement with the governor's insistence upon passing “non-budget issues” such as tort reform, workers' compensation reform, and a property tax freeze, elements of Gov. Bruce Rauner's “Turnaround Agenda.”
Before Madigan's news conference began, the governor's office issued a statement, adding it is attributable to Rauner's communications director, Lance Trover:
"Speaker Madigan and the politicians he controls are walking away from the negotiating table and refusing to compromise on critical reforms needed to Turnaround Illinois. Instead, they appear ready to end the regular session with yet another broken budget or massive tax hike -and no structural reforms. The Speaker and his allies in the legislature are sorely mistaken if they believe the people of Illinois will accept doubling down on a broken system that has failed Illinois over the last dozen years."
Later in the day, House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) issued the following statement:
“The House Democrats affirmed today that they don’t want to pass reforms that will fix a broken state government, but only want to raise taxes. Instead of working with Republicans in a bi-partisan manner to fix the deep financial crisis that they caused, Democrats insist on continuing down the path of crafting and passing unbalanced budgets that spend billions more than we can afford.”

And Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) issued the following statement:

“This is a replay of how legislative Democrats have run Illinois for the past decade. Game playing, a complete disregard for balancing the budget and a burden on the taxpayers who pay the bills. We’ve spent weeks trying to negotiate sound public policy that would stop the bleeding, help create jobs and positively impact our budget. They’ve spent that time crafting another phony budget and a plan for more Democrat tax increases.”

The budget bills are already moving through appropriations committees. The spring legislative session ends Sunday.
(Copyright WBGZ Radio/ www.AltonDailyNews.com)